NewsDon’t feed the foxes: MNRF SHARE ON: Bob McIntyre, staff Tuesday, Dec. 17th, 2019 (pixabay.com)Those unusual sightings of foxes lately are probably due to them being fed by humans.Karen Passmore speaks for the provincial natural resources ministry. She says her office has heard of several instances, especially in the Timmins area.“Foxes that adapt to humans are more likely to cause conflicts with pets, they could create public safety concerns,” Passmore tells us, “including spreading mange, rabies and distemper.”“If they’re fed by humans, foxes can lose their fear of humans. They can adapt to artificial food sources and also remain in the same area where they’re being fed.”Passmore adds that foxes should be living on their natural prey, in their natural habitat.Mange, the most common disease of foxes across North America, is caused by mites, results in substantial hair loss and can be transmitted to humans and pets such as dogs and cats. Mange manifests in an itchy, red rash. It seldom results in significant health concerns and cannot be transmitted from human to human.Distemper is an infectious and contagious viral disease of many domestic and wild carnivores, including foxes. It cannot be transmitted to humans or immunized pets.Rabies is a is a fatal, viral disease which can be transmitted to humans, livestock, and pets. If you come in contact with what you think might be a rabid animal wash the contact area with soap and water and contact your doctor.