Ease urban foxes off feeding, biologist suggests
Charlottetown woman worried about fox family she's been feeding
People who have been feeding foxes in Charlottetown should ease the animals off that food supply, says a local wildlife biologist.
Charlottetown residents are being told they should not feed the dozens of foxes living within the city. Feeding the foxes can make them reliant on people, and inappropriately comfortable with them.
Earlier this week, a national wildlife group said it was lobbying the city to make a bylaw against feeding foxes. The story concerned Charlottetown resident Nanette Johnston, who has been feeding a fox family in her neighbourhood without realizing it is a problem.
"I have been feeding a female fox, a vixen, and I know that she has kits," Johnston told CBC News.
"It never occurred to me that what I was doing was causing a situation with her that she's going to be relying on me for food. I'm not sure what to do at this point."
Pierre Yves Daoust, a wildlife pathologist and coordinator of the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Centre at Charlottetown's Atlantic Veterinary College, said it would not be a good idea to cut off the food supply immediately.
"My suggestion would be to try to reduce the amount of food that she was providing to this mother on a gradual basis," said Yves Daoust.
"If she stops drastically, then the mother may be looking much harder for food in the area."
Daoust said Charlottetown has enough open, natural areas that foxes can successfully forage if other easier sources of food, such as handouts and garbage, aren't available.