If you have been noticing foxes around Fort Collins in large
numbers recently, you are not alone. The population of foxes, which
are a form of urban wildlife, has been larger than in past
“There has been an increase in the number of calls we’ve been
getting this year regarding foxes,” said Sarah Alexander, director
of wildlife services at the Larimer Humane Society.
Alexander stressed that the fox population, while a possible
“rabies vector species,” is not dangerous.
“We haven’t had any incidents of rabies being transmitted from a
fox in Larimer County,” said Alexander.
There are several key steps that residents can do to discourage
foxes from moving in, or “denning,” on their property: Feeding pets
indoors, keeping grass short, closing the lids on trashcans and not
trying to attract small birds by building ponds and feeding
Developing a complex yard creates areas prime for fox
habitation, Alexander said.
By removing food, water, and shelter, homeowners can reduce the
population of foxes in their neighborhood.
“People need to understand that these animals don’t all live in
the mountains… These animals are urban wild animals, they do live
in our communities and they do live in our cities, and that’s
normal,” Alexander said.
While a fox sighting may be unsettling for some, their presence
may be more beneficial than some might guess.
They keep the rodent population in check said Dr. Terry
Campbell, the section chief of zoological medicine at the CSU
Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
“You very rarely hear that a person is bitten by a fox,” said
Campbell. “I don’t see any real concern of having fox around.”
Campbell said foxes “are more of a threat to domestics pets,
rather than people.”
The presence of the foxes may be due in part to the destruction
of their natural habitats in nature, according to Campbell. Because
of their highly adaptable nature, the urban fox population
continues to thrive in Larimer County.
“You can get pretty close to them, I have them in my
neighborhood. I like to watch them go into my neighbors garage to
feast on their cat food,” Campbell said.