Red foxes finding homes in Bobcat Nation
Sep 17, 2014
By McKenzie Powell
[dropcap]O[/dropcap]hio University has welcomed in more than just new students and faculty to its Athens Campus this year. Amongst OHIO Bobcats new and returning, picturesque red foxes have been seen throughout the campus.
Since the beginning of the year, three female red foxes and their kits have been spotted on and around the Athens Campus – on the University’s golf course, around the Convocation Center, and in the vicinity of Mill Street Apartments.
According to Chad Keller, environmental health coordinator for the University’s Environmental Health and Safety Office, it is estimated that at least 16 to 18 red foxes are or were living on the Athens Campus in 2014.
Staff employed with OHIO’s Department of Campus Recreation have had a front-row seat to these frolicking animals, watching them as they live and play on the University’s golf course and around the Ping Recreation Center.
Larrissa Keiser, Campus Recreation’s assistant director of promotions and assessment, reported that the staff there started seeing a female fox on the golf course this past January. The female fox and her six kits made their first appearance in March.
“I have a prime location to witness all of the foxes and the groundhogs,” Mark Ferguson, executive director of Campus Recreation, said from his office in the Ping Center overlooking the golf course. “It’s usually one of the two that I see almost on a daily basis. We saw a lot of the foxes over the summer, and for a good month or two, every time I’d look out in the Ping Center courtyard there’d be a couple of them out there playing and running around. At one point, outside of the center’s new weight room space, there was one fox sitting right by the door, like a puppy.”