Monday, September 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Mange fox in Lower Bucks?

The animal had fox ears and a fox tail. But it lacked hair.

Mange fox in Lower Bucks?

Jim McGory of Lower Southampton took this photo of what is believed to be a fox with a severe case of mange.
Jim McGory of Lower Southampton took this photo of what is believed to be a fox with a severe case of mange. Submitted photo

The animal had fox ears and a fox tail. But it lacked hair.

It was acting funny, too. Instead of behaving like a fox normally would, skittish and wary of humans, the animal meandered down Lower Southampton’s Buttonwood Drive.

“It walked right past my basement window,” Jim McGory said. “I started shooting off pictures. And he stopped and continued to walk away with no urgency whatsoever.”

McGory, who lives near the Neshaminy Creek, said he sees two or three foxes a year and they don’t act – or look – like this one did.

Another person called Bensalem today to report a “hairless fox” near the Franklin Mills Mall, according to the Bucks County 911 call center.

The animal is likely a fox with a severe case of mange, a skin disease caused by mites, said Cheryl Trewella of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Trewella, who saw McGory’s photos, said Red Foxes are prevalent in Lower Bucks and particularly susceptible to mange. Most beat it. But some die.

The mites cause severe itching, leaving an animal covered in scabs and legions. Animals can also lose their fear of humans.  

“We’ve had some severely affected bear with mange,” Trewella added. “And if you see a bear with mange, it doesn’t look like a bear, it looks like a gorilla. They look horrible.”

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