North

Foxy thieves strike Whitehorse

A group of foxes in Whitehorse has been gathering boots, gloves and other types of clothing in the neighbourhood of Copper Ridge.

Boots, gloves, other clothing stashed near den

Fox pups have taken boots, gloves and other types of clothing in the neighbourhood of Copper Ridge. (Caitlin Taylor/CBC)

Call it a den of thieves.

A group of foxes in Whitehorse has been gathering boots, gloves and other types of clothing in the neighbourhood of Copper Ridge.

The goods can be seen stashed near their burrow which is next to the Hillcrest Water Supply Reservoir.

The water station is fenced off, but a least a dozen shoes and boots can be seen from the road.

Curious fox pups look from the top of a water supply reservoir in Whitehorse. (Caitlin Taylor/CBC)

"There's some really expensive shoes sitting in there," said David Thompson with a laugh. He lives in the neighbourhood and says the foxes have taken many different things over the years.

"My daughter, a couple of years ago, she had a pair of really expensive shoes stolen off her porch, she thought somebody had come along and taken them."

He adds he's seen a fox carry a stolen towel "to its fort."  

Signs ask people to slow down 

Thompson says that people often drive too fast along North Star Drive which separates the foxes' den from another hillside the pups like to play on.

"It's a thousand-foot drag strip, the way people drive. So I was really concerned about those foxes getting hit."

Earlier this spring Thompson painted a sign warning people to slow down along the road. Despite his efforts, one of the foxes was hit by a car but survived.  

Signs in Copper Ridge ask people to slow down when driving past a fox den on North Star Drive. (Caitlin Taylor/CBC)

The incident prompted Thompson to spray paint another sign that said, "one fox hit."

"It's the kind thing to do, it's the compassionate thing to do — to look after these animals."

Foxes have fans

Perhaps the only thing more adorable than the fox pups is four-year-old Gordie Carter who lives down the street. He loves red foxes. All winter he anticipates seeing the family in the spring. When he finally saw the pups this year, his mom said he was thrilled.

"Gordie is just nuts about seeing them," said Reagan Gale. She and her family have lived in the Copper Ridge for about five years. She says sometimes the adult foxes throw the shoes into the air for the pups to play with.  

"It's really sweet to watch. Gordie has just laughed and laughed and laughed."

When asked how he feels about living next to the foxes, Gordie is to the point. 

"I feel happy because they remind me about these foxes," she says, pointing to his stuffed toy foxes. 

Four-year-old Gordie Carter loves foxes. (Caitlin Taylor)

While Gale might not be the super fan that her son is, she also enjoys living near the family.  

"I really look forward to it," she said. "When the foxes start sunning themselves on the side of the hill, I know that winter is nearing its end."

While she and Thompson both said they haven't had anything stolen by the foxes, there are some people in the neighbourhood who might need to be a bit more careful and keep their things indoors. 

 

With files from Philippe Morin