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  • Last modified 49 days ago (May 6, 2021)

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Won't you be my neighbor?

Staff writer

An unnamed landlord may have complained about foxes that have chosen to den in abandoned trailers in Hillsboro, but most of their neighbors enjoy them.

Rodney Bolstad lives next door to dens of two families of foxes — two vixens and up to eight kits have been spotted.

“Leave them,” he said. “They have been here for a couple of years. They don’t bother anybody. The only thing that’s disappeared are the cats and we don’t mind that.”

Hillsboro city police officer John Huebert said the department has contacted the Kansas Department of Wildlife, who are monitoring the situation.

“Unless they are a nuisance, there is not a lot we can do,” he said.

Gregory Kyser, interim colonel with the wildlife department, said they don’t usually come out and remove animals.

“If someone has problems with foxes on their property, we provide a list of approved companies to relocate them,” he said, adding foxes are not harmful unless they carry rabies.

Bolstad surmises the foxes have returned to the 400 block of Birch St. to have their babies.

“The two little females over here have white tips on their tails, and the kits over there have white tips,” he said.

The kits are curious, but the vixens keep them away from people, he said.

He and his neighbors sit in the evenings and watch them play.

“They are really fun to watch,” he said. “About dark is the time they really come out.”

Troy Seaman, another resident of the block, sees foxes every day and has no idea why anyone would file a complaint.

“They are not going to come after any kids or anything,” he said.”

He keeps chickens and the foxes have never bothered them, but he does have a strong fence and dogs.

Kansas Department of Wildlife Biologist Matt Peak agrees with Seaman’s assessment that the foxes are mostly harmless.

“Foxes are pretty much urban wildlife,” he said. “They live in towns to get away from coyotes.”

Foxes usually establish themselves in small towns or suburban areas.

The vixens and their kits have settled in old trailers and culvert pipes, which is perfect housing.

“They live in abandoned places like old cars, and brushy unmaintained areas between houses. Those are perfect for them to den and raise their young,” he said.

Most foxes weigh less than 15 pounds and pose no threat to pet animals — including cats.

“They are a minor threat to cats,” he said. “Most towns have foxes in abundance and plenty of cats. They are not a big threat to them.”

The foxes definitely are not a threat to people if they are respectful and leave them alone.

“They don’t become a threat to people if they try to feed them and tame them down,” he said.

Last modified May 6, 2021

 

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