LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — The Lynchburg Police Department Animal Control is warning the community of a grey fox in the area, that was reported showing “abnormal behavior.”

Lynchburg Police said the fox was reported in the following areas:

  • North Princeton Circle
  • Vista Avenue
  • Riverside Drive

Animal Control officers patrolled these areas, however, the fox was not located.

“While our city is full of wildlife, it is important to take precautionary steps to keep our community safe,” said LPD in a Facebook post.

According to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (VDWR), major problems associated with foxes involved their ability to invade homes and trashcans. The department says foxes are very adaptable to urban areas and mostly come out at night, but seeing them during the day is not a sign of rabies.

The VDWR says foxes are commonly seen during the day in urban and suburban areas and are usually attracted to these communities by foor or easily accessed areas to make a den.

Here are a few tips from the VDWR on preventing problems with wildlife:

  • If you are feeding wildlife, stop. This will cause them to lose their natural fear of humans.
  • Keep trash inside until the morning of trash pick-up or place trash in an animal-proof container, such as a metal trashcan with latches on the lids.
  • Do not leave pet food outside; keep pet feeding areas clean.
  • Remove bird feeders when problem species have been seen around them.
  • Close up all openings under and into your buildings. Animals look for places to den and raise their young – don’t give them that opportunity.
  • Clear fallen fruit from around trees.
  • Pass along this information to your neighbors. If anyone in the neighborhood is feeding wildlife directly, or indirectly, it can cause trouble for everyone.
  • Reflective tape, lights, or noise sometimes work, but they will eventually grow accustomed to these methods, so this is only a temporary solution.
  • Install fox-proof fencing around chicken coops or rabbit pens to protect them.
  • It is illegal in the State of Virginia to trap and relocate an animal to another area.
  • Contact your local health department if the fox exhibits signs of rabies such as stumbling, foaming at the mouth, or aggression.

If you see a grey fox exhibiting strange behavior call the Lynchburg Department of Emergency Services at 434-847-1602 or Animal Control at 434-455-6105.