Fox Sightings Bring Excitement To Maplewood, New Jersey

MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Frequent fox sightings have created quite a frenzy in Maplewood, New Jersey.

As CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported, the animals may look friendly. But as the foxes approach backyards and schoolyards, experts are warning people to keep their distance.

On a steamy Tuesday night in Maplewood, the Popowsky family – who recently moved to the suburban New Jersey community from Brooklyn – was enjoying the big backyard. These days, they’ve got some company.

“I thought it was amazing; super cute,” said Matt Popowsky. “I couldn’t believe it.”

“It’s created quite a buzz,” said Margaret Popowsky.

To the amazement of mom, dad and their daughters, a family of foxes frolicked through the property, making themselves pretty comfortable for about 15 minutes.

“There was five babies!” one of the Popowsky daughters said.

“One time, their mom was snuggling with them!” another said.

The foxes have rapidly risen to fame in the South Orange-Maplewood area – creating a fun frenzy on Facebook.

“These babies are probably two months old,” said wildlife rehabilitator Kelly Simonetti.

Simonetti said you may be seeing more wild animals this year, because the mild weather means more food available in the suburbs. The mother foxes are teaching their babies born this spring how to hunt.

“Foxes will look for prey,” Simonetti said. “Anything that darts off will catch a fox’s eye and say I have to chase that — a small dog, a small cat.”

And as cute as they are, Simonetti pointed out that they are wild animals — and therefore unpredictable.

That is why the Maplewood Health Department and wildlife experts are reminding parents to tell your curious kids — if they ever do see a fox, they mustn’t get too close.

“Certainly, no wild animal should ever be cuddled, touched or attempted to be captured,” Simonetti said.

Pointing out that their mother took video of the foxes from inside the house, the Popowsky girls already know to stay far away.

They are thrilled to enjoy the fox phenomenon from afar.

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