A fox seen around River Campus in past weeks is nothing to fear, according to Peter Castronovo, Senior Sanitarian of the Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S), though students shouldn’t feel free to approach or feed the beast.
“[Foxes] are opportunistic feeders and would even take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich if offered,” Castronovo wrote to the CT. “Feeding any wildlife interferes with the natural balance between wildlife populations and their habitat, as well as puts the person at risk.”
Public Safety and EH&S have gotten calls about the fox, but if left alone, Castronovo said, it’s nothing to be feared.
“Nobody has said the animal is acting strangely or aggressively, […] and it seems tame,” said Castronovo, adding, “It appeared to be enjoying basking in the sun and is probably getting comfortable with people walking around.”
Castronovo said that after it received calls, EH&S “herded [the fox] back to the Genesee River bank where it was seen earlier.”
The fox displays no indicators of rabies, Castronovo said, and it’s only unusual characteristics are “a skin condition or some kind of mange,” and that it was seen in the daytime at all.
While Castronovo is confident the fox is not a threat to anyone’s safety, he said EH&S is keeping an eye on it. “We are closely monitoring the fox, and there may be more than one living on or near River Campus.”
Anyone on campus with animal-related concerns can reach EH&S at (585) 275-3241, or DPS after business hours at (585) 275-3333.