Wild fox sightings on the rise across Baton Rouge

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - An animal typically spotted in the wild is making its presence known in the Capital City.

There is plenty to see near the LSU Lakes. Local, Calli Boudreaux, says it's one of the reasons why she and her beagle, Roux, visit often. "We run these lakes two to three times a week, so we are out here a good bit," said Boudreaux.

Among the scenic backd rop filled with ducks, geese, and other animals, the pair spotted a creature that stopped them in their tracks.

"We were doing a six-mile run early before the sun even came up and were running around this corner here and I spotted a fox," said Boudreaux.

Boudreaux snapped a couple of photos of the fox just across the street from the bird sanctuary on East Lakeshore Dr. But then, she said, the fox started running with her. "Of course, I'm a Snap-chatter. So, I have to Snap Chat to document it, because if you didn't document it, it didn't happen," said Boudreaux.

It's happening a lot more than some might think. LSU Associate Professor of Environmental Science, Linda Hooper-Bui, has been tracking foxes locally since 2015. "We mapped over 150 observations of the foxes and we estimate there's between 80 and 100 foxes in Baton Rouge," said Bui.

She does it through a Facebook page appropriately titled, Fox Finders. Dr. Bui says she created it to encourage people to become citizen scientists by taking pictures or video of the foxes they see in the city.

"We have lots of people who are somewhat engaged, have people very engaged, and they do the observations nightly," said Bui.

If you see a fox, Dr. Bui says not to worry. They are not aggressive, but probably won't let you pet them. In fact, it's illegal to have one as a pet. Dr. Bui suggests you do not feed them either. She says human and pet food can harm them. By the way, there is a reason you may be seeing more of them.

"They are normally out hunting at dawn and dusk and all night, but because they have active dens with kits in them. They have lots of mouths to feed so people are seeing them out during the day," said Bui.

Boudreaux and Roux don't mind. She says the more the merrier. "We were very excited to see them. I mean, how often do you get to see a fox and get to run with a fox on your morning run," asked Boudreaux.

Roux may very well make a few new friends.

If you see a fox, Bui asks that you take a photo or video and submit it through the Fox Finders Facebook page. She requests that you do not include home addresses in public posts.

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