Posted at: 10/14/2013 6:21 PM
Updated at: 10/14/2013 6:27 PM
By: Maarja Anderson
Fox sightings are becoming more common on Park Point and Minnesota DNR officials say it's because their population is growing, but not naturally. People are feeding the foxes and they are becoming tame.
The DNR says foxes don't generally pose a threat to humans or pets, but they do carry canine diseases. The agency says the problem is the foxes are starting to associate humans with food.
"It's not uncommon, we will see them maybe every other day," said Park Point resident Alden Kendall.
Kendall and his wife have lived on Park Point for 23 years. He said all the wildlife there makes it a special place, especially the fox.
But Martha Minchak with the DNR said not everyone is thrilled about the fox sightings.
"Folks are a little put off or a little afraid that the foxes are coming so close to them," explained Minchak.
Minchak said they've had more calls this year of foxes getting a little too close for comfort than other years. Callers have complained about foxes following them while they jog, trying to get into their homes, and even stepping over people at the beach.
The Park Point fox population increased years ago in reaction to a population explosion of rabbits, said Minchak.
"We had a large rabbit population at one time and the fox began to appear," said Kendall.
Now that people have been feeding the foxes for years, Minchak said they've stuck around and become tame. A city ordinance prohibits feeding deer and bears, but not foxes.
Although Minchak said just as many people have called in praising the foxes as complaining about them, she recommends stop feeding them and if you don't like them in your yard there are a few things you can do.
"Just yell at it to chase it away. If that doesn't work, you could spray them with the hose or a water bottle, or I've told folks to try opening and closing an umbrella to scare them off," Minchak offered.
As a general rule, the DNR doesn't trap and relocate animals. They said the best solution is to not feed the foxes.