SPOTTED: Foxes running on beach in Ponte Vedra; FWC says keep small pets and kids away

PONTE VEDRA, Fla. — When heading out on the beach for a sunset stroll, you may typically spot a dolphin, swimmer or even some sea critters that wash up on shore.

Two red foxes were spotted in the dunes in Ponte Vedra, in between the Ponte Vedra Inn and the Duval County border, on Tuesday.

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Check out this video sent only to Action News Jax. We took that video to wildlife experts to see if parents should be concerned.

“It would be best to not leave your small pets out unsupervised,” Karen Parker said. She is the spokesperson for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Parker warns that, while they may look cute, the foxes are wild animals. “Mainly, their diet consist of mice and rats and rabbits. If there’s other food sources available, they’ll definitely go for it.”

The other concern is sea turtle eggs.

Kevin Brown with the Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol said he comes out daily to monitor the conditions on the beach.

Brown showed Action News Jax reporter Meghan Moriarty the proper protocols in place for keeping sea animals safe from secondary predators, like foxes.

First, he would lay down wiring to cover the nest area, secure it, then wrap orange fencing around the sides to keep predators out.

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“Any disturbance in them at all, we try to do our best to protect the nest,” Brown said. “Even if we saw tracks around the nest, we would put this protection on it.”

Brown said if you see more foxes to alert the Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol (https://bstp.net/) at (904) 613-6081 or the FWC (https://myfwc.com/) at (888) 404-3922.

Generally speaking, the FWC tells Moriarty, if you’re taking a walk on the beach at night, these little guys won’t bother you. Enjoy the view.

“They’re not generally aggressive towards people, unless they may be sick or injured,” Parker said. “The best course of action is always to enjoy them from afar.”

As to why they were on the beach, Parker said foxes enjoy the beaches just like people. It’s just not common for them to end up there.

“Really can’t tell you how they got to the beach, but it’s not unusual to see them,” Parker said. “There’s plenty of food for them, kind of a ‘surf and turf’ type of deal.”