The University of Wisconsin isn’t just the home of the foxiest students. It’s also home to a family of red foxes.
From the Capitol to Van Hise Hall, the new Madison inhabitants have been spotted throughout campus and even become the stars of a new Tumblr page. However, the arrival of new wildlife on a campus with 40,000 students can be nerve-wracking for some.
According to “The Van Hise Foxes” Tumblr account, people first started noticing the foxes near Van Hise Hall in January.
Assistant professor of the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology Jonathan Pauli was quoted on the Tumblr, saying the female fox had birthed eight kits, all of whom were living in a den next to Van Hise.
David Drake, UW professor of forest and wildlife ecology and UW-Extension wildlife specialist, urged people to “let the foxes be” in a university statement released Monday.
“If they are given the chance to coexist with us, they can live here,” Drake said. “But let them be.”
Unfortunately, the male fox was struck by a car and killed last Friday. Drake said the mother fox should be able to care for the kits on her own.
“We are interested in seeing how they’re adapting to an urban campus and their interactions with each other, with coyotes and with humans,” Drake said. “We use the Tumblr page to check if the foxes are doing anything we haven’t yet heard of or to see if our studies are affecting [the foxes] in ways we can’t confirm otherwise.”