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Rainier visitors have to stop feeding foxes

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on Feb. 20, 2009 at 11:31 am with No Comments »
February 20, 2009 11:31 am

If you are heading up to Paradise this weekend, or any time soon, don’t feed the foxes.

Mount Rainier National Park officials are concerned that some of the Cascade foxes that hang out at Paradise are becoming too habituated to human food.

I talked with Ellen Myers, one of the park’s wildlife biologists, who said the critters are becoming more brazen in their attempts to find food. She said two people had their backpacks "broken into" and food was taken.

Jeffrey P. Mayor/The News Tribune file

This black bear became a nuisance at Paradise last fall in part because it was fed by park visitors. Mount Rainier National Park officials are reminding visitors not to feed wildlife.

Winter campers are being asked to use hard-side containers to hold their food.

Myers said last weekend she had notes handed out to visitors as they entered the park warning them not to feed the wildlife.

A fox had to be killed last year after it was injured. Park officials believe it was hurt when it was hit it by a vehicle while trying to get some food.

If park visitors continue to feed the foxes, park staff will have to use some deterrents to keep the animals out of the area. Myers said rangers at other parks have used Super Soakers to scare off animals. That is not a viable option during the winter, Myers said, but something might have to be done if visitors don’t cooperate.

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