Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014
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Fox family haunts couple

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Published:   |   Updated: May 18, 2013 at 03:18 PM
BROOKSVILLE -

For about two weeks, a Brookridge couple lived with a family of foxes residing in their front yard.

Foxes and other wildlife are not an unusual sight in the Brookridge community. Charles Kurtz and Marie Dudek-Kurtz said the furry creatures, however, have long overstayed their welcome. Setting up camp in tortoise burrows, the foxes knocked over outdoor lights, pulled out the sprinkler system wires and left paw prints all over the two cars parked under their Fontaine Drive carport.

“They didn’t frighten me until they started coming up to the door,” said Dudek-Kurtz. The foxes, at times numbering seven, left dead animal carcasses and fur on the property. They even stole a pair of her husband’s dirty socks.

The couple, who are in their 80s, walk their small dog, Peanuts, together at night, with Charles carrying a baseball bat while Marie holds the leash.

Concerned for their safety and the well-being of their property, the Kurtzs went to Brookridge security with the complaint. The community said that because the foxes are protected, they’ll just have to “tolerate” the wild animals, Dudek-Kurtz said.

When she contacted the sheriff’s office, Dudek-Kurtz was told the wildlife management decision would be up to Brookridge. The only other option, Dudek-Kurtz said, was to hire a trapper, for about $350 — a fee they can’t afford, or justify.

“They’re very brazen, and not afraid of us at all,” Dudek-Kurtz said. The couple said they don’t want Brookridge to wait until someone gets bitten and contracts rabies.

“They’re a protected species, but who is going to protect us?” Dudek-Kurtz said.

The Kurtz said they are animal lovers, but see a big difference between a fox running through a backyard and a family taking over the grounds.

The foxes haven’t been spotted since a news crew set up cameras near the burrow a few days ago.

“I’m still afraid to go outside,” Dudek-Kurtz said. “I keep looking out expecting to see them … and just because they’re not there right now, doesn’t mean they’re not coming back.”

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