Letters

Fear of Foxes

Oct 25, 2017

To the Editor:

I am writing this note to convey some troubling concerns about our great LBI neighborhood. For the past month or more, red foxes have been terrorizing the residents of our Island. If you are unaware of this development, count yourself lucky.

Personally, I have experienced the fear of being followed by a very brazen fox on a number of occasions. It is not frightened off by loud noises or yelling. It stands its ground and/or aggressively moves forward. I no longer feel safe going to and from my car, taking out my trash, being in my yard or working in my garden, as it has come out from seemingly nowhere and followed me to my front porch, despite me banging trash cans. I have seen the fox in my yard in the morning, afternoon and evening. After talking to a number of neighbors, I have discovered that they, too, have concerns and fears after being in similar situations.

I am very concerned about neighbors who take their dogs for walks. I understand the fear they must feel when a fox menacingly approaches them. Their dogs are at great risk, as are the owners who try to protect their beloved pet.

I am also concerned about the children who get on and off the school bus in an area where the foxes have been regularly seen. I would hope they would know to stay away from wild animals, but they are children and may not know the dangers.

A bit of research has helped me to understand that foxes are normally not a danger to humans, unless they are rabid. They can be seen at all times of the day. According to the humane society’s website:

Foxes have a natural fear of people. If you see one outside during the day, it’s no cause for alarm. They will usually run away from you as soon as they detect your presence.

If not, the fox has probably learned to associate people with food (likely because someone has been feeding them), and may exhibit a boldness or even approach you. These foxes can easily be scared away by making loud noises such as yelling or blowing whistles, dousing them with water hoses or squirt guns or throwing objects such as tennis balls toward them.

Foxes can prey on small pets.

So what’s the problem? The problem is that these foxes are not at all afraid of people and the usual approach to scaring them off has not worked. I have concluded that someone must be providing food for them or some other wild/feral animals. If you know who that person is please give him/her a copy of this letter and ask him/her to stop or report him/her to our local police, who have said they will issue a summons.

If you are putting food outside for any animals, please stop! While feeding wild/feral animals may seem like a kind thing to do, people who do so are creating this dangerous situation. Perhaps if we each contact Long Beach Township and the taxpayers association, someone will provide us assistance in solving this issue. I am sure we all would hate to see a neighbor or pet injured because of these aggressive foxes.

My hope is that we work together to correct this troubling situation. Thank you for your help.

Nancy Hall

Long Beach Township

 

 

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