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North Delta’s John Barclay captures stunning moment with elusive red fox

BC SPCA: don’t feed, interact. Leave your pets inside.

John Barclay, of North Delta had a very rare and beautiful surprise visitor on the weekend. A red fox visited his backyard on Saturday.

“We live on Harrogate Drive in North Delta near Sunbury Park. The fox was sleeping in front of our cedar hedges when I saw him through the kitchen window. When I went out on the back deck with my camera, he woke up and looked at me for a while before getting up and jumping up to the top of the fence, walking down to the far end, then coming back and going into our yard. He then went behind our cedar hedges. I decided to leave him alone. The next morning he was gone and no sign of him today. Apparently they are very rarely seen in the Lower Mainland and B.C. southwest coastal areas. This one looked very healthy and posed so well for his picture taking.”

According to BC SPCA, foxes are naturally wary of people, and will ignore or avoid people most of the time. However, foxes may become habituated to people if they are repeatedly attracted to scraps from garbage, compost and pet food, or if people intentionally feed them.

You can help protect foxes and avoid conflicts:

• Never feed them. If foxes get used to being fed by humans, they will lose their fear of people, which can lead to unwanted conflicts and aggression.

• Manage rodent attractants like seed from bird feeders and fallen fruit so foxes are not drawn to your property; small mammals like rodents are a large portion of their diet.

• Keep garbage cans and compost bins clean and secured. Foxes are also scavengers who will take advantage of any available food sources.

• Seal off spaces under decks, porches. These areas look like a cozy den to an expecting mom. Inspect your home and seal off any areas you don’t want an animal to den or nest in.

• Keep your dog on leash when out walking, and never let your dog interact with a fox.

• Keep cats indoors, and monitor pets and small children outside.