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Verify: Are fox sightings common in West Michigan urban areas?

Henrietta Malone recently spotted one by Kent Trails, and the next day, Nancy Gutierrez also captured pictures of one capturing its dinner near John Ball Park.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Posts about recent fox sightings are getting a lot of attention online in Grand Rapids.

Henrietta Malone recently spotted one by Kent Trails, and the next day, Nancy Gutierrez also captured pictures of one capturing its dinner near John Ball Park.

“We have two different species of fox in Michigan: the red fox and the grey fox," said Hannah Schauer, the communications and education coordinator at the DNR Wildlife Division. "Red fox are probably the more commonly spotted ones in these urban settings.”

They're native to Michigan and tend to be most active during dawn and dusk.

The online posts were quite the conversation starter, and several people raised similar concerns.

Chelsea was not alone when she commented, “It looks so skinny someone leave it some leftovers!!”

But Schauer said absolutely do not feed the fox.

“If a fox is being fed by people, it might lose some of its natural fear of humans,” she said.

The fox looks how the DNR would expect for the summer.

“With their long legs and maybe less of a fluffy coat in the summertime, they might certainly look skinnier,” Schauer said.

Foxes hunt smaller rodents, like mice and rabbits. They might also hunt smaller birds and snakes.

Kirk commented: “No worries unless [you have] small pets outside.”

“The fox is going to eat some of those smaller critters, so it’s very unlikely they are going to go after a pet," Schauer said. "But if you're concerned the best thing to do is just accompany those pets outdoors if they’re smaller.”

We can Verify, it is common to see them in urban West Michigan areas - especially ones that are recently developed.

“Yes, it would not be unusual to find fox in the urban area pretty much anywhere in the state,” she said.

These animals can carry diseases and parasites, so keep your distance when enjoying all the wildlife West Michigan has to offer.

“White tailed deer," Schauer said. "Things like raccoons, and possums and skunks... different bird species including hawks, and owls and song birds, and any sort of turtles, snakes, frogs, toads.”

If you leave food out for your pet, or have a bird feeder, you’re more likely to attract wildlife visitors to your yard. If you don’t want them there, don’t have those things outside.

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