By Daisy Girifalco
In recent weeks there have been numerous fox sightings around the Davis Road area, leading to speculation about what the Fantastic Mr. Fox is up to. It was unanimous, however, that his confident nature was making residents a bit nervous.
Mr. Fox and his partner have taken up residence in the Battle Flagg Road neighborhood based on numerous reports of sightings. The sightings have been reported to Animal Control officer Mike Leskouski as well as on the Davis Road Neighbors Facebook group.
Mr. Fox has been spotted with various unidentified kill in his mouth, but according to Leskouski the fox is likely noshing on the ample number of squirrels, ground birds, bunnies and other rodents that populate the Davis Road conservation area. His level of activity indicates that he’s feeding a pregnant or nursing female in the area, and his popularity has increased based on his hunting patterns being visible right on Davis Road.
Two foxes were spotted together a couple of weeks ago. The assumption is that the female has taken cover, indicating that she may have had her litter. Lisa Warhover has had the pleasure of watching these two beauties go about their day. “This is an amazing act of nature and we need to embrace it. People need to keep alert and smart about their own animals and keep their distance when he’s around,” Warhover said. “I’ve been out several times walking my little dog and the fox has kept a healthy distance so I’ve never felt that either I or my dog was in danger”.
Leskouski advises that people who come upon the fox be cautious and stay away. He suggests that if you’re walking your dog, carrying a small sports fog horn or a cowbell will startle the fox so he associates people with staying away since foxes don’t like loud noises. Also, don’t leave garbage with leftover food out to entice him. Leskouski estimates the fox weighs an average of 7-15 pounds and is 35-41 inches long, but he could look bigger because of his full coat. He also advises that if you want your house to be fox– fisher cat-, and coyote-free you could soak old, shredded t-shirts in ammonia and put them in areas where the fox may hide, such as under a deck or shed.
“This fox is not sick and he’s not aggressive” says Leskouski. “If a fox (or any animal) was ill he would be acting strange like lying down, walking in circles, or being aggressive. Such an animal would stop being active after about four days and dead within 10. The fact that people keep seeing the same fox simply indicates that this is a healthy animal living in a suburban community with active wildlife”. Leskouski encourages people who are still concerned to reach out to the Animal Rescue League for further education.