ENVIRONMENT

Dead foxes and squirrels puzzle Millcreek neighborhood

May 17, 2024, 9:18 PM | Updated: May 20, 2024, 12:29 pm

MILLCREEK — A neighborhood in Millcreek is puzzled by some strange things happening with foxes and squirrels where they live.

Neighbors have reported five dead foxes and three dead squirrels to the Department of Wildlife Resources, and neither know what’s killed them.

The neighborhood located near 4500 South and Highland Drive butts up against a large park owned by Salt Lake County; neighbors report foxes are regularly seen there, and the area backs up against a Macey’s that has dumpsters.

Over the last few weeks, neighbor Sue Hall said she’s seen sickly-looking foxes, and another neighbor, Jamie Walker, has had three squirrels show up dead in virtually the same spot in his yard.

A third neighbor had a dead squirrel in their yard on April 14.

A sign letting residents know that foxes visit the area.

A sign letting residents know that foxes visit the area. (KSL TV)

The Department of Wildlife Resources said on April 6th, they went out to investigate a red fox who had been reported alive but lying in a pasture.

Millcreek Meadows, a nearby nature based mental wellness facility, said the fox was walking and collapsing, so they had it tested. The report did not show any evidence of poison, disease, or attack.

But Walker said there’s something strange about the dead squirrels in his yard; two have died just in the last 24 hours.

“We’re worried that, you know, our pets might get into it or the kids might, you know, want to pick it up because (the squirrels) don’t look like they’re dead,” he said.

One of the dead squirrels in Walker's backyard.

One of the dead squirrels in Walker’s backyard. (Courtesy: Jamie Walker)

Neighbors are worried that the squirrels may be getting into rodent poison used to protect chickens, or some other substance that’s making them sick and possibly being eaten by the foxes.

“Resident need to know that the pellets you buy to kill mice and rats on your property can kill other animals up the food chain,” said Hall, who owns Serendipity Stables.

DWR said they have no evidence of that, but they have also not been able to test any carcasses.

A trail cam from Millcreek Meadows has caught a coyote in the area, and workers report that fox skulls were found.

DWR wants anyone who finds multiple dead wildlife to contact them immediately. The number for the office over the Millcreek area is 801-491-5678.

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Dead foxes and squirrels puzzle Millcreek neighborhood