Red fox sightings increase

Emily Andrews

Black squirrels have a new companion on campus: the red fox.

Red fox have been seen around campus, but there is no reason to be alarmed.

“With any wild animal you have to respect them,” said Scott Peters, Ohio Division of Wildlife assistant wildlife management supervisor. “Simply show them due respect.”

There have been no reports of any aggressive behavior, said Paul Rothenbacher, Kent State Police dispatcher.

Fox are now more likely to be seen in towns than in the past because human development has taken over more land.

“Just like any other wild animal, I wouldn’t offer them food,” said Kelly Gregg, a receptionist at Stow-Kent Animal Hospital, “but as long as they are left alone, they will leave you alone.”

One family of fox is located near the Stockdale Building near the police station, Rothenbacher said. He said there is a mother with half a dozen offspring.

“We called in a trapper to remove the fox,” Rothenbacher said, “but he advised it wasn’t necessary. When juvenile fox mature, they will wander away from here.”

There have been fox sightings in Whitehall Terrace, Allerton Apartments and the ball fields, Rothenbacher said. He said he has personally received eight to nine calls about fox since early summer, including one yesterday.

“Most callers say they appear to be lost and wandering around aimlessly,” Rothenbacher said. “It is not abnormal for them to wander during the day. They are not necessarily nocturnal.”

The only direct threat to humans is if the fox has been infected with rabies or other diseases.

Peters said it’s been documented but very rare for fox to contract rabies, but the loss of fear of humans is one of the most common symptoms.

“When you get an area where these animals are constantly seen by humans, they will lose some of the fear of humans,” Peters said. “But if you make noise or clap hands this should deter them. Unfortunately, everyone thinks of Cujo with the foaming at the mouth. That is usually in its last day or two.”

Contact news correspondent Emily Andrews at [email protected].