Foxes pop up in Lindenlea, New Edinburgh, Rockcliffe

Furry red foxes have been spotted in the Lindenlea, New Edinburgh and Rockcliffe Park areas, and their sudden appearance is generating some excitement.

'I think for the most part everybody's just really interested and happy to see the wildlife'

This fox has been spotted several times in the Lindenlea neighbourhood. (Seanna Kreager)

Furry red foxes have been spotted in the Lindenlea, New Edinburgh and Rockcliffe Park areas, and their sudden appearance is generating some excitement.

"I've seen [the fox] quite a few times. I've seen it from my work window, running through the playground and hunting, and I've seen it as well at my house in New Edinburgh, kind of wandering around the neighbourhood," said Seanna Kreager, general manager of the Lindenlea Community Association.

"You can see it dart across, and then you often see it come back with a squirrel in its mouth," Kreager told Ottawa Morning Monday.

This photo was taken this past weekend during a community park cleanup. (Seanna Kreager)

"People have been interested in them," Kreagersaid. "There was a little concern at the start — people were worried about their cats and that kind of thing, and with wildlife, not knowing how they should react with it. But I think for the most part everybody's just really interested and happy to see the wildlife."

One community association member suggested a fox poetry contest. More than a dozen poems have been submitted so far, and there are plans to publish them in the community newspaper.

Of course, this isn't the first time foxes have made a splash within city limits:

Safety concerns?

Rockcliffe Park resident Whitney Fox said she'll be keeping the family cat indoors at night after it was chased through the neighbourhood by a fox.

But Donna DuBreuil, president of the Ottawa-Carleton Wildlife Centre, said people living around foxes shouldn't be too concerned about their pet cats and small dogs being eaten up. Foxes have small stomachs and prefer mice, voles, rabbits, squirrels and even grasshoppers. 

Rockcliffe Park resident Whitney Fox said she'll be keeping the family cat indoors at night after a fox chased it through the neighbourhood. 0:29

Residents would do better to fear fishers, she said.

"I would say it would be a pretty minor risk [for a cat to be eaten by a fox], but I think people need to be wary, regardless, because the bottom line is fishers are much more likely to capture a cat than a red fox is," DuBreuil said.

As for disease, foxes can get mange, but DuBreuil said it doesn't often spread from wild animals to domesticated animals.

CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning