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This problem keeps me awake at night

Uncle Frank

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I have 2 rare grey foxes that have been coming to my house for 2 years now. I live in the middle of a big city , surrounded by busy roads . but seem to have a zoo in my back yard. I have 3 possums , 3 skunks , 5 racoons , at least 8 grey squirrels , and lots of birds. I spend about $100US a month to feed them all. My dad raised me to be a hunter and when I was young , I killed almost any animal I saw. Now , in my old age , guilt makes me try to make up for the killing by feeding the animals. The problem that keeps me awake , is what to do about the 2 foxes. Their beauty fascinates me and I love to light them up with a flashlight at night to watch them. They let me stay about 5 feet away from them while they eat and I talk to them all the time and they have lost their fear of me. In Maine where I live , it is illegal to put food out to bait animals and illegal to light them up with a light of any kind. My worry is , their fear of humans is gone and another person who sees them may think they are rabid from coming close and not fearing humans. My other worry is , rabies in Maine is very common , and to bring all the animals to my yard , could spread rabies if any of them come down with it. So , common sense says I should stop feeding them , but darn , I love to watch them. I keep hoping they will have a litter of pups and I want so badly to see that happen. I've been hunting for over 60 years and never seen a grey fox before , so it's real addicting to me to be able to watch them. Now , I also have the fear that if I don't feed them every night , it will harm their health. I guess because I'm retired , I have nothing else to worry about , so that's why it keeps me awake at night.
 

thomas

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Being an animal lover myself, I can understand your inclination to feed and foster. However, I also believe those Maine wildlife regulations are in place for a reason. You should stop feeding the foxes, for their sake.

And shoot them, with your camera. :)
 
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Uncle Frank

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My wife agrees that now that good weather is here I should cut back on feeding the fox. I did not know how well he has me trained , LOL. He shows up every night about 8:30PM for his supper. Tonight I was late putting it out and he sits by my back door and barks till I come out and feed him. Since his wild food is mostly mice , I've decided to put out seed mice like to eat in the field behind my house. That way , he won't depend on me so much for his food. He has lost his fear of me and my voice which at first I liked. Now on the news this week is a story about another wild rabid animal attack where the fox or coyote attacked a family and bit 3 people out walking. As slow as I move , the fox could attack me with little trouble. Having to get rabies shots is not something I want to go through , so I guess I will need to wean him off my feeding program. Thanks for the advice from you who answered.
 
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