THOMASVILLE — Animal control officials are warning residents not to approach foxes they see in their neighborhoods.
Thomasville-Thomas County Humane Society executive director Chandler Giddes said there have been reports of four foxes in the North Pinetree Boulevard over the last month with potential signs of neurological disorders.
Each call came during the daytime, which sent up a red flag to Giddes.
“You shouldn’t see foxes out in the middle of the day, in a highly-populated area,” he said, noting that foxes are primarily nocturnal creatures and often shy away from humans.
Animal Control worked with the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office and the Thomasville Police Department on the four calls. Giddes said the four calls came into his office as reports of a rabid fox. Each fox was captured and two were tested. They did not test positive for rabies but the two tested positive for distemper. Two were impounded and euthanized.
Because rabies and distemper are neurological in nature, animals may exhibit similar tendencies and behavior patterns, Giddes said.
Behavior to look for is an animal shaking its head, tilting its head or walking in circles.
Giddes also warned that people should keep their distance from foxes.
“Do not approach them, do not try to capture them and do not try to feed them,” he said.
Giddes said pet owners should make sure their animals are vaccinated against rabies or distemper.
If a person sees a fox during the day, Giddes said his office will respond, though wildlife control is not one of his office’s responsibilities. Giddes said people who see a fox after hours should call 911.