Red foxes spotted on Ocean City boardwalk
OCEAN CITY, N.J. (AP) -- The sightings of red foxes on the Ocean City boardwalk are becoming almost as common as the red sunburnt faces of beachgoers.
The Press of Atlantic City reports that the bushy-tailed animals have frequently been spotted at St. Charles Place and the Boardwalk in recent weeks. The young foxes have been photographed beneath benches near a popular doughnut shop and even eating from people's hands.
Jim Brown, owner of Brown's Restaurant, has posted two signs asking patrons not to feed the foxes. He says the signs are for the safety of both customers and the animals.
"Something is going to happen and it won't end in the fox's favor," Brown said. "We need to live with them, not the other way around."
Nick Holland, who handles animal control for parts of Cape May and Atlantic counties, says the foxes are especially prevalent on the islands. He believes the sightings have increased because of the animals' comfort level with humans in the area.
"If they don't feel threatened, they're going to be comfortable and play where people are," Holland said. "They rely on their fleet-footedness to get away. They're like deer; they'll stand there and stare at you until threatened, then take off."
Bob Considine, a spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection, said the agency has been aware of the existence of red foxes in Ocean City since at least 1999.
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