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Name: Elizabeth M.
Status: other
Age:  20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 6/25/2003


Question:
I work for the Village of Bartlett. One of our residents is complaining about foxes in her neighborhood. Although I know that I can give her the standard advice, i.e., do not leave out food or water, and keep small pets inside or closely watched after dark, I would like to know if there is any additional advice or information that I can give to her. From what I have read, foxes do not seem to be a serious nuisance to humans, however, when I attempted to call this woman back, the man who answered the phone said that she had a traumatic experience regarding the fox that morning. Any help you can provide is appreciated.


Replies:
Unfortunately there is probably nothing you can say to help in this situation, it sounds as if it is well beyond "reason" into pure emotion. Some people have reactions to wild animals that most of us would consider irrational, and explaining the simple facts that foxes are completely harmless to humans, and unlike coyotes, probably even to small pets, they rarely carry rabies even in the extremely unlikely event of a person being bitten, etc., is probably going to fall on deaf ears. The biggest complaint I have heard from people living near foxes (in this case in a yard in Northbrook) is that the den starts to get really smelly and messy as the pups grow up. Most people really enjoy having them nearby. J. Elliott


I do not know first hand, but I would think that the local state Department of Natural Resources and/or Humane Society could provide "humane" live traps for foxes so that they could be captured and released in a more appropriate environment. They should also know the mating season pattern so that it would be unlikely that cubs would be abandoned by such a capture.

Vince Calder


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