Parks Canada will try again to catch foxes on Signal Hill tonight and Friday morning after an unsuccessful attempt Thursday morning.
"We did see one this morning. As a matter of fact, we saw him go into a trap which we had set on top of Signal Hill," said National Historic Sites manager Glenn Keough.
"Unfortunately, he didn't go all the way to the back to take the food, which then would engage the trap. Usually early in the morning we see them up around here, which is largely where people are feeding them,"
Officials with Parks Canada have become so concerned with the public's feeding of foxes in the Signal Hill National Historic Site area, they've brought in resource technicians from Terra Nova National Park to help relocate the animals out of St. John's.
The foxes on Signal Hill have been attracting wildlife paparazzi over the winter and spring, and have become a hugely popular attraction.
Although illegal to feed wildlife at a National Historic Site, some have ignored Parks Canada's warnings and fed the foxes anyway.
Keough said the foxes have become very comfortable with people and may have become dependent on them for food.
"They may think they're doing a favour to the foxes. but at the end of the day we're going to have to remove them for that very reason," Keough told CBC.
Accident waiting to happen
Keough said in an average year, there are 750,000 visits to Signal Hill.
With such a high volume of people, there is a danger that someone could get hurt.
"It's very frustrating for us, on a couple of levels. One, it's a visitor safety issue for us, because It is a wild animal." he said. "There is always a danger there that someone could get bitten. There's also the danger to the animal, because they've become so acclimated, it becomes a danger to themselves."
Keough said at least one of the foxes will be relocated to the Salmonier Nature Park. If all are captured, officials will bring the animals to other unpopulated areas on the Avalon Peninsula.