Photo of The Day: North Point Fox

North Point residents should be on the lookout for a confused fox.

Reader Dan Wiles sent in this photo of a sick -and-mangy fox that has been spotted in daylight hours (foxes usually are nocturnal) in North Reston.

Wiles said the fox has been seen around Baldwin Grove near Buzz Aldrin Elementary School and may have an injured right front leg. He has alerted Fairfax County Animal Control.

Diane Clifford March 05, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Foxes are becoming diurnal because coyotes, which prey on foxes, are moving into their areas. Coyotes are nocturnal. Daytime is therefore safer for foxes.
Kathy Splitt March 05, 2013 at 04:36 PM
This article is not very instructive or helpful. Why are we to keep an eye out? Is it because the fox is in need of help for its leg? Is it because we should be concerned it is rabid (in which case, the article should warn residents and tell them to keep clear of it)? What are we to do if we see the fox? Is there a phone number to call?
Karen Goff March 05, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Be on the lookout for a variety of reasons - to help the fox, to guard your other pets who may be in the yard. Don't know rabies status. Animal control can be reached at 703-691-2131 to report an incident.
BBurns March 05, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Karen, foxes are not strictly nocturnal. You can see them curiously watching construction, or peeking over grassy hills or sand dunes at the beach. A fox with mange, however, is miserable and has trouble sleeping and finding food, so you may see one in that condition during the day far more often.
BBurns March 05, 2013 at 06:56 PM
This poor animal has mange, which causes intense itching and suffering and which will slowly kill him or her if not treated. They also may keep moving because they can't rest and can't concentrate on finding food. They can be treated with ivermectin injected into baked chicken legs (baked because if raw it's too bitter). The NoVa Wildlife Rescue League can put you in touch with a rehabber who can provide the medicine and simple instructions. When we treated/cured a fox with terrible mange (no fur), the dose was once a week for two or three weeks, though we fed in between to keep her coming back so she'd get subsequent treatments. Contrary to popular belief, once treated, they will leave - they don't want to hang around your house. We picked up and signed for the meds at a doctor's office nearby - perhaps because a rehabber worked there, or maybe it's required. I hope someone who knows can help him or her. Unfortunately, some - not all - AC officers in some locations see a mangy fox and just want to kill them. http://www.wildliferescueleague.org/ - for whoever sees the fox fairly regularly. Maybe meds could be picked up today before the snow hits, to get one dose in. When folks on my street were concerned about "our" mangy fox, Claudia from RA provided a little info which I emailed to my neighbors to ease their minds. That's not to say some foxes don't have rabies, but ours clearly had mange.
Chris E March 05, 2013 at 08:28 PM
See fox news can be fair and balanced.
Pam March 05, 2013 at 08:30 PM
This fox does appear to have mange and, if so, it can be helped. Working with the Wildlife Rescue League, I successfully treated a fox with mange in North Point when I lived there. Sadly, this occurred after Animal Control shot another fox with mange (the litter was infested). I found out afterwards that it is treatable. Of course, no one should approach a fox if it is aggressive, but the treatment with Ivermectin does not involve approaching the animal. You just need to know its patterns. If anyone who lives nearby wants to help, they can contact the WLRL at 703-440-0800. (By the way, I regularly see foxes during the day here in the Glade this time of year. They are definitely not strictly nocturnal).
Karen Goff March 05, 2013 at 08:48 PM
These are great tips! (Also, I said "usually" nocturnal. Obviously, this one is not. Poor guy.
Mike Collins March 05, 2013 at 09:51 PM
I think this one might live behind my house. I will call WLRL.
BBurns March 05, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Mike, that's great, thank you! If you can't reach them, let me know - they're all volunteer and always short-staffed and needing more people to help. I know a couple of people who might be able to connect you with the right person.
Mike M March 05, 2013 at 10:44 PM
Yo! Mike. is that a cigarette in his paw? No wonder he's mangy. Better put that signage project on rush!
Pam March 06, 2013 at 12:48 AM
Thanks for your willingness to help Mike C! If you have any questions, I'd be happy to share my experiences too. It was in the same area....could be using the same den. Good luck and thank you!
Stella McEnearny March 06, 2013 at 03:09 AM
LOVED this!! Most welcome on the eve of the legendary "Snowquester"!
Frank Sogandares March 08, 2013 at 04:49 PM
Don't know if this is the same fox, but we used to have a rather mangy fox living in my nbhd. This critter had three legs (or at least walked like it), and a tail that looked like black tufted rope with a sharp 90 bend (clearly his tail had been broken and not healed straight). I figured he'd been hit by a car or mauled by a dog - or something - perhaps multiple times. I saw him on and off for several years. I haven't seen him for over a year.... he is/was a real survivor.


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