A man who took some meat left out for the local fox population could have put his health at risk.
Now the person who feeds the foxes is urging him to seek medical advice.
Tony Carson says he and his fiancee Sue Rimington have two pastimes: “We feed people and foxes.”
They operate a food bank on a voluntary basis for St Anthony’s, “providing food to 40+ people in the greatest need in the community six days a week,” says Tony.
And their hobby is to feed the foxes. It started in 2021 when they were on the balcony of their flat in the Walmgate area of York.
“We were very surprised to see a fox amble through the car park to the rear of our flat,” Tony told YorkMix.
“The following evening we put some cooked kitchen scraps out in the hope that the fox would return. Not only did ‘Black Tail’ return we soon had his cubs and extended family visiting.
“We now put a fox buffet out each evening and have a core group of seven nightly guests, with an equal or greater number of random or infrequent visitors.”
Tony also films the foxes’ antics, and you can see these mini-wildlife docs on his Facebook page here.
Earlier this week he was watching the footage and was shocked to see a man take three plates of the meat.
“Although we would have willingly invited this person into our home and fed them a decent meal, they probably didn’t realise what we do,” he said.
And he is worried that the man might have picked up an infection. “Foxes carry lungworm along with various other internal and external parasites.”
They could have left the lungworm eggs on the meat before the man arrived. The parasites can cause infections like toxocariasis.
Tony, a former butcher and publican in York, said: “Urgent medical treatment would be wise if your feel you may have shared food with a fox!”
Two of the empty plates were found in a neighbours garden and another outside a nearby pub.
“There was a notable pile of vomit by the plate. To be honest I think I would probably have made myself ill by eating that amount of meat in one sitting,” Tony said.
If a fox visits for more than two nights in a row Tony and Sue give them names. They are now regularly visited by Ollie, Koko and Willow among others.
“The foxes are lovely little folk to watch and many of them allow me to sit with them and stroke them,” Tony said.
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