CRANFORD, NJ – Cranford residents are keeping track of a fox that they believe has mange on social media.

The fox, which is commonly referred to as “the mangy fox,” has been spotted across the town, from Walnut Avenue to Rutgers Road, according to residents on Facebook. Residents report seeing the fox in their driveways, yards, and parks.

“Should a resident see a fox or any animal that they believe to be ill, they are encouraged to contact the Cranford Police Department at the main police phone number at 908-272-2222,” Sergeant Ryan Greco of the CPD said. “An officer will respond to locate and assess the animal.” 

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According to the Humane Society of the United States, foxes have a natural fear of people and prey on small pets like squirrels and guinea pigs, livestock and fruit. A fox with mange will have patchy hair or have lost its hair completely. As the mange progresses, infected foxes will look sickly and seem fearless.

“At advanced stages, infected foxes are often seen wandering around during the daytime, seemingly unafraid,” the Humane Society website reads.

According to the Humane Society, foxes with mange that are seen in the daytime may be seeking a warm place or simply hunting. The CPD asks that Cranford residents do not approach the fox.

“The Cranford Police Department encourage residents not to approach a sick or injured animal,” Greco said. “Also monitor pets and small children if there have been reports of a sick or injured animal in a neighborhood.”