The Fox in the Ferndale Courtyard
(Janet Lawless, Feb. 21, 2020)
Ferndale, MI – The daytime denizens of Ferndale High School have a visitor in courtyard. At the end of January, a single fox slipped in and is enjoying the serene natural setting of trees, brush, and pond in the large sheltered courtyard in the center of the school.
Jamie Stottlemyer, the Executive Director of Operations and Transportation at FHS, provided details on this situation. He reports that this is the first time a fox has visited, but Stottlemyer has dealt with geese and ducks stopping in frequently, and a deer was caught in the wide-gapped black fence bordering a stretch of the south side of the school perimeter. Stottlemyer guesses that this fence was the entry way for the little fox too. However, rather than come in and out within hours, the fox decided to stay over a few days. The courtyard is no doubt attractive too because, especially in the winter, the preserve is quiet, sheltered from the wind, and a stopping place for those ducks and Canadian geese.
Because the fox was on an extended stay, the courtyard was closed to students and staff who can traverse it, crossing more quickly to classes on the other side. Doors were locked and signs were posted, advising everyone to stay out of the courtyard until the fox was removed for fear that the FHS population or the fox would be harmed.
A humane animal control organization, Critter Control, was arranged to set up a friendly trap to catch and relocate the furry guest. True to the name though, the fox has been too clever, at the time of this article, to fall for the trap. It’s also avoided our cameras.
In the interim, staff and students have been enjoying the aesthetic and educational value of observing the fox from the wide glass windows that surround the courtyard.