As an Edgewater resident and expectant mother, Heather Epkins gets very wary when she sees the same “mangy” fox loitering around her property.
The mother of a 2-year-old with another on the way, Epkins told Patch she and her neighbors are terrified when the fox comes around—claiming that the animal seems very sick and possibly rabid. Recently, Epkins said she has seen the fox a lot, specifically walking around The Landings of South River Colony Conservancy.
After failing to reach Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) workers to talk about the issue, the local mom said she doesn’t know what to do next.
However, Patch learned that not only does the DNR encourage residents to inquire about wildlife concerns, the department actually has more than 25 certified “Wildlife Coordinators” in Anne Arundel County to call when animals pose a problem to personal property. Comprised of residents throughout the state, coordinators are licensed, educated and certified by the state.
One of those coordinators, Butch Sutphin, is designated as the Davidsonville contact for wildlife concerns. While he’s not working at an Annapolis auto shop, he’s willing to brave all kinds of situations to help local residents fix their animal problems.
Sutphin himself was not available for comment. His wife, who declined to give her first name, answered questions about handling situations like Epkins’ fox, and how to best utilize certified Wildlife Coordinators.
If an animal is in or on someone’s personal property, the best thing to do is call the DNR, who will direct people to their list of coordinators, according to Sutphin’s wife. That step can be cut out by viewing the DNR’s list of contacts. However, calling a coordinator isn’t necessarily a cheap option when dealing with unruly animals.
“The average cost can be $300-$500 for a full one-day charge,” said Sutphin’s wife.
When it comes to dealing with a situation like the fox in The Landings of South River Colony, the only real step is figuring out why the animal has taken a liking to a specific piece of land.
“Animals don’t really want to be in your house … in your garage. There’s a reason why they are there,” Sutphin’s wife said. “The first thing is finding the reason why the fox is attracted to your area. Don’t feed dogs or cats outside or provide a food source.”
In Epkins’ case, the fox is not in or on personal property, so handling the animal really comes down to catching it with a trap. Wildlife coordinators don’t track down animals that are occupying neighborhoods as a whole. Sutphin’s wife recommended using a live trap to catch the fox, but also said it can attract even more animals.
Listed below are local Wildlife Coordinators, certified by the DNR:
- Randall Howes: 410-798-9192 (Edgewater)
- Lance Lacey: 443-465-8127 (Edgewater)
- Kevin Russ: 443-964-4368 (Dunkirk)
- Butch Sutphin: 410-263-5066 (Davidsonville)
Have you seen the “mangy” fox of The Landings of the South River Colony?