Move over roosters — Arroyo Grande might have a new mascot.
A small gray fox has been seen wandering around the Village in recent months, stopping on people’s porches, playing with local animals, investigating small animal pens and roaming across the grassy areas with the town’s famed chickens and roosters.
The curious critter’s sudden appearance has inspired numerous Facebook posts from residents, excited about sightings.
Village resident Vivian Krug said she first noticed the fox in September when she spotted it near the South County Historical Society Heritage House Museum on Mason Street.
Since then, she said she’s seen it numerous times along the creek and creekwalk, as well as on the lawn near the Swinging Bridge.
“I walked up pretty close to him to take these photos,” Krug said. “He’s timid, but curious. The roosters walk right by him and vice versa. Each time I’ve seen him, I think he’s either wanting to play or looking for food.”
Krug said in the 14 years she has lived there, she has never seen a fox hanging out in the Village before.
Gray foxes are native to much of North America, including California. They are nocturnal, and normally come out at sunset and night to find food. Gray foxes are also the only American species of fox that can climb trees.
Though he is cute, officials warn that the fox is still a wild animal, and people should not approach or attempt to feed it.
“The public should never feed wildlife mostly because it creates an issue, and they may not know the food they eat, so it could provide more harm than good,” Pacific Wildlife Care President Kimberly Perez wrote in an email to The Tribune. “Foxes have a natural fear of people, so if that is not the case, then someone could be feeding them. Just like other forms of wildlife, big noises may deter them if they are approaching you — an empty can with dry beans being shaken, or a whistle maybe.”
Pacific Wildlife Care has received a handful of calls about the fox, but the nonprofit cannot interfere since it does not appear to be injured, sick, orphaned or oiled.
Perez advised people to keep their pets secure until it moves on to a new home.
Have you seen the fox?
If you have pictures or videos of the fox you would like to share with The Tribune, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.