Badgers on campus have some new competition; foxes have been spotted prancing around campus for the past two months.
The foxes have been hanging out on Observatory and Charter, enjoying the stares of students and faculty in Van Hise, Nancy Nicholas Hall and on Bascom Hill.
The foxes are a recent addition to campus caused by an increased number of squirrels and mice foxes prey on, according to a University of Wisconsin statement. The environment is also conducive to foxes, the statement said.
The ones seen on campus have been traveling in pairs, which are common, and do not seem threatened by people they encounter, the statement said.
The foxes have been receiving lots of attention on social media as campus community members wonder “what does the fox say?”
— Brad Houston (@herodotusjr) November 12, 2013
Soyeon Shim, the dean of the School of Human Ecology, saw a fox through her office window.
“I knocked on my window to see if the sound would make him move, but his ears went up cautiously and decided to return to his grooming, realizing that there were no immediate threat to him,” Shim said.
UW System spokesperson David Giroux said he was very surprised to see the foxes.
“I’ve been working in this building for more than six years, and I’ve never seen them here. To see a pair of them, and see them that close, was a treat,” Giroux said.
The treat may keep coming, the UW statement said, adding that if the foxes were mates it is possible there will be fox pups accompanying their parents in the spring.