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Top Stories 2012: Foxes Loose In Ossining

Village of Ossining police released a captured fox in the area of Osage Drive after they were not able to obtain a permit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Village of Ossining police released a captured fox in the area of Osage Drive after they were not able to obtain a permit from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Photo Credit: Courtesy Flickr User Lonewolv

OSSINING, N.Y. – Ossining police hunted a fox after a woman claimed it chased her through her Ossining neighborhood in July.

Residents in the area of Osage and Mundet drives said they spotted at least two foxes in the area in June, and at least one resident reported being attacked. Mauro Santucci, an animal control officer with the Ossining Police Department and an area resident, said in June that the attack was "extremely rare."

"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," he said.

The reported attack caused concern for many residents, and officers dispatched in the area said that if the fox was caught, it would likely be killed. With the help of a state-licensed trapper, Ossining police caught a fox in the area, but they released it a few days later.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation would not issue a permit for capturing the fox. DEC representatives said they were unaware of a fox in the area until reading about it in the news.

“We were never contacted by the Village of Ossining Police Department or any residents in the area that a fox was going to be removed,” DEC spokesperson Wendy Rosenbach said. “An officer did call after capturing the fox, and he was reminded that the village did not have a permit.”

Kevin Clarke, a wildlife biologist with the DEC, said the village Police Department and residents could still file an application for a permit to get the foxes removed if they posed a direct threat to people.

“We have no information to justify killing of the fox at this point, especially if it has kits,” Clarke said, adding that if removal was justified, it would possibly include euthanasia. “We would have to look at the individual case, and so far nothing has been reported to us. But we would always recommend that people harass the foxes to get them to leave on their own, unless it is causing a direct threat to people, which again is very rare.”

After the fox was released, there were no more reported attacks, Ossining police said, noting that it was likely the foxes left the area.

See more of The Ossining Daily Voice's top 10 stories of 2012.

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