ANIMAL welfare chiefs have issued advice after a reported rise of fox sightings across South Derbyshire streets.
People have contacted the Mail about seeing an increasing number of the animals prowling the streets, especially in the Swadlincote area, during the evenings.
Experts say that the increasing number of foxes in the area could be a result of loss of habitat, caused by humans, and plentiful food left in streets, discarded by humans
Animal behaviour experts have also suggested it is possible we are seeing more of them, as foxes are becoming more accustomed to humans and getting braver.
The RSPCA has released some help and advice on how people should react with the increasing presence of foxes.
A spokesman said: “Foxes are opportunists, searching for and defending areas with suitable food and shelter.
“The most humane and long-term solution to discourage foxes from your garden is to remove or prevent access to what attracts them to the area.
“Foxes call throughout the year, but normally only howl or scream during the mating season, which peaks in January. During the mating season, it may be worth considering the use of ear plugs if the howling disturbs you.
“Repellent products are widely available from garden centres or hardware stores. Take care to read the label and carefully follow the instructions, as each product is prepared and approved for use against certain animals in the specified way.
“It is illegal to use any substance to deter foxes that has not been approved for such use.
“Foxes are wary of people and would normally run away to avoid adults and children.
“They will learn to trust people who are not causing them harm and may appear quite bold – but this is unlikely to be a sign of aggression.
“It’s important that people do not try to hand-feed foxes or make them tame, as this may encourage foxes to approach people who may not like them.”