Charlottetown residents: Don't feed the foxes

Dave Stewart
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This red fox is doing what wild foxes are supposed to do - catch their own food. In this Guardian file photo a fox pounces on a field mouse that it wasted no time in eating once it dug it out from its burrow. Charlottetown city council said it is geting complaints about some residents feeding the animals.

City of Charlottetown gets complaints every week about urban foxes; may ask for provincewide ban against feeding critters

It is currently illegal to feed foxes, any wildlife for that matter, in the National Park where Parks Canada can issue a minimum fine of $220.

The City of Charlottetown is thinking of asking the provincial government to pass an Islandwide ban on feeding wild foxes.

Coun. David MacDonald, chairman of protective and emergency services, said Monday night the city is getting complaints every week and has been for some time and it may be time to try and do something about it.

MacDonald said it is no longer unusual to see wild foxes around Charlottetown but the complaints seem to be centred on the dozens that are hanging around properties towards supper time because people are feeding them.

"Coincidentally, that's when people put out pet and those kinds of things. So, they're just a little concerned, first of all, for their safety of the pets and residents,'' MacDonald said.

The councillor said the city plans on approaching the provincial government to see if there is an appetite to enact legislation calling for a provincewide ban. Such a ban would include a fine.

It is currently illegal to feed foxes, any wildlife for that matter, in the National Park where Parks Canada can issue a minimum fine of $220.

Parks Canada says feeding foxes will cause them to become habituated to humans and rely solely on humans for food. In some cases, young kits that are fed by humans may not develop the skills they need to hunt and succeed. Foxes fed along roadsides will often become injured or killed by vehicles because they are used to vehicles and frequent roads and parking areas.

"It's going to be hard to deal with it but we've had enough complaints over the years that we should talk to the province to see if we can do something.

"We're going to talk to the province to see whether or not, between us, we can look to implement something that, maybe, has the same kind of impact they do in the national parks.''

MacDonald said it's the right thing to do, to protect the foxes, residents and house pets.

Fish and wildlife matters fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Environment, Labour and Justice.

Organizations: Parks Canada, Department of Environment

Geographic location: Charlottetown

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Recent comments

  • Wile E
    March 12, 2014 - 12:38

    OK, tell me this, FOXY, how did the fox survive for millions of years without you feeding them? There is a WHOLE LOT for you and the rest to learn. First: the fox is not native to PEI. Therefore, since it is still in the wild it has plenty to eat. That which drives them into the towns is not the coyote, but the human who feeds it. The coyote is not native either, it also found a niche. If we did not feed the coyote would it starve? NO! Neither will the fox. The fox eats mice. The fox that eats your food has not learned to hunt and YOU KILLED IT!

    • foxy
      March 12, 2014 - 14:37

      don't think it would make much difference what i told you-- i agree to disagree with you -- but as a long shot- if the fox has to go back to the woods the coyote will be glad to invite them for dinner

    • Wile E
      March 13, 2014 - 11:02

      Yes. You're right. Or are you saying that like a bad-thing?

  • M
    March 12, 2014 - 11:42

    If those that are feeding the foxes truly cared about their well being, why dont they open their homes to them?? As cute as they are they are wild animals. They should eat and survive like wild animals. Treat them like pets, then take on the responsibility of a pet owner. Let them snuggle with you at night. OR let them be wild!

    • Sly the fox
      March 12, 2014 - 17:59

      I do not see that harm in feeding the foxes and like that person said if you aren't willing to let them snuggle with you at night thats like saying if your not snuggleing with your dog/cat/snake/fish/mouse then thats like saying if the fox is wild then if u dont do that with your pet let it outside in the wild. And its either some can chose to feed the foxes and you can let them because its their yard or you can have foxes fending for them self like someone else said and just like that "be wild" which will mean your dogs and cats may get hunted or garbage cans because they need to eat. And maybe tighten up that law about hunting because i sometimes hear about people hunting squirles and sometimes other animals for fun even though its illegal.

  • roxy the fox
    March 12, 2014 - 10:25

    there is a fox that comes by our house daily, sweet as could be and plays with our cats when we take them outside. this fox is injured, missing a toe and hops around. we put out bread and crumbs for the crows so if the fox gets some we truly don't mind. i don't want the fox to go hungry.

  • worried
    March 12, 2014 - 09:32

    foxy, I don't want to see them go hungry either... that's precisely why people need to stop feeding them and let them develop their natural instincts and learn to hunt food. People are well intentioned, but they don't understand what they are doing keeps the foxes from learning to hunt... and that's when they starve. Leave nature alone. These beautiful creatures are very capable hunters and survivors, IF we stop intervening and undermining mother nature.

    • foxy
      March 12, 2014 - 10:12

      if we had left nature alone ,they would still be able to live in the wild !!! to not feed them now is inhumane !! they have no "wilderness " to go to,safely

  • David Polk
    March 12, 2014 - 08:29

    I lived for a few years in Charlottetown. While there I played some golf at Fox Meadow Club. I remember my playing partner charging down the fairway, club raised in hand, chasing a fox who had grabbed and run off with his ball. It remains one of the highlights of my golfing career. (Which tells you all you need to know about my abilities as a golfer!)

  • Londoner2014
    March 12, 2014 - 08:20

    "What does the fox say" about being fed by strangers?

  • foxy
    March 12, 2014 - 05:45

    don't like to see them go hungry -- talk about closing the door after the horse got out -- clear cutters and coyotes are the cause and the problem to be addressed

    • coyote cull
      March 12, 2014 - 11:06

      Your right coyotes are a big part of the problem.....but when we hunt them lots of people pitch a fit over the poor coyotes being culled......can't have it all.