OSSINING, N.Y. – The Village of Ossining Police Department is hoping to catch a fox that has scared and possibly injured residents along Osage Drive.
Residents in the area of Osage and Mundet drives said they spotted at least two foxes in the area over the last few months. With the help of a state-licensed trapper, Ossining Police have set up at least two traps behind homes on Osage Drive East hoping to capture the foxes. While there have been varying reports of foxes all over the Village of Ossining and in Briarcliff Manor in the last few years, police said they are taking further measures after a resident recently reported being chased by one of the foxes in late June.
Mauro Santucci, an animal control officer with the Ossining Police Department, said he spotted the fox as recently as Monday night.
“We got about three reports last week and we were down here (Monday) night and saw it but it ran off,” Santucci said, adding that it is very rare for foxes to attack people. “The report we had of a woman being chased is a rarity. We’ve had a few reports in Ossining and Briarcliff Manor of people seeing them and one in Briarcliff where it was trapped in a home, but one chasing somebody is rare.”
Santucci said he is optimistic that the fox will be caught, but he’s also very hopeful as a resident.
“I live right here so this is definitely a concern,” he said. “We’re recommending that if people see a fox to call 941-5700 to report it. They are very skittish and are more afraid of you than anything else. Making noise will help and you have every right to protect yourself on your own property.”
Santucci said foxes act most like dogs and don’t have set habits of eating or roaming. He later noted that it is illegal to kill foxes in New York unless it is on your property. Santucci also expects that if the fox is caught, it will not be released.
“Unfortunately, it’s very likely that it’s going to have to be put down,” he said. “Anytime you have a report of chasing or attacking a person, that’s usually what is done if it is caught.”
While police said the most recent reports of the fox on Osage Drive started in late-June, Osage Drive resident Dick Wheeler said he first saw a fox on the street “months ago.”
“I’ve seen it about a half a dozen times,” Wheeler said, adding that he didn’t report it because he didn’t think the fox was harming anyone. “I’ve lived here 40 years and I’ve seen raccoons, deer, skunk and other things. I never thought anything of seeing foxes until I heard it went after someone.”
Neighbor Makras Renee, who frequently walks her dog in the mornings and evenings, said she is concerned of a fox being in the area.
“I’m afraid to leave (my dog) out because she’s small and she could get attacked,” Renee said. “I’m glad something is being done.”