Residents Encouraged to be Mindful of Island Wildlife

By Lynn Lewis - lynnl@landings.org
Communications Manager

From its stately oak trees and majestic pines to the soothing waters of the Intracoastal Waterway and fresh and brackish water lagoons to the beautiful and exotic wildlife that roam free, the Landings community is quite the island paradise.

Although many human residents could not imagine calling any other place besides The Landings home, there are countless animal residents that feel the same way. Among these beautiful creatures are the deer, wild boar, alligators, endless varieties of snakes and birds, and of course the red fox family seen around the island of late.

Some residents in The Landings have reported seeing a red fox roaming near Landings Way South without regard to the daylight hour or people. In fact, he rather seems to enjoy human interaction. Despite the fact there have been no reports of multiple foxes roaming the island at once, National Geographic’s website states that foxes are social creatures that live in packs and they like to stick near family members…a clear indication that Mr. Fox is not living in The Landings alone. And don’t be alarmed if you see him roaming about during the day. Although foxes prefer to hunt at night and are nocturnal, their patterns can change depending on where they live. If they live in a place where they feel safe, a fox pack may hunt during the daytime. Although pet owners are encouraged to make certain their domestic animals are vaccinated against rabies and never to pet or corner a fox; foxes are not considered to be a threat to humans or animals. Again, you should never engage with this wild animal, but generally speaking fox attacks are not a common occurrence. The cases where attacks have been reported typically happened when the fox was defending itself, its den, or have been pushed to extreme measures due to a lack of food. To read more about Foxes, click here.

Residents are reminded NEVER to feed wildlife. Following are a few reasons why, as offered by National Geographic.

  • Human foods aren’t nutritious enough for animals and may cause serious health problems.
  • It makes wild animals lose their natural fear of people. Feeding can make large, potentially dangerous animals become too comfortable in residential or recreational areas. Once animals learn they can panhandle for food, they can become a nuisance or, even worse, a safety risk.
  • Feeding wildlife from or near vehicles is dangerous to animals, people, and property. Animals can be hit by moving vehicles or might try to enter vehicles in search of food. In Yosemite National Park in 1998, more than 1,100 vehicles were broken into by black bears, causing more than $630,000 in damages.
  • Wild animals that depend on people for food can cause injuries or spread disease. When wild animals gather for food handouts, it causes crowding and competition. These unnatural conditions increase the chances of fighting and injury among animals. It also can increase the spread of diseases, some of which may be transmitted to pets and humans.

   For more information about co-existing with foxes and other wildlife, visit National Geographic online (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/search?q=red+fox).