On Tuesday, the United States Capitol Police (USCP) warned of “aggressive” foxes on and near the United States Capitol grounds.
“We have received several reports of aggressive fox encounters on or near the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. For your safety, please do not approach any foxes,” the agency tweeted. “Animal Control Officers are working to trap and relocate any foxes they find.”
Reporter Michael Macagnone shared an image of a fox he saw near the Capitol.
“Spotted outside the Capitol: a red fox. I was sitting at a gazebo outside the Russell Senate Office building when this little one came trotting up. Then galloped after a squirrel,” he tweeted.
Twitter user Mark Bacchus shared footage of a fox running around near the Capitol.
“This was from Nov…west side of capitol building in front of the botanical garden. Was so crazy to see a fox in such a populated area,” Bacchus tweeted.
Many Twitter users mocked the USCP’s post, including one account called “Capitol Fox,” which appears to have been created in response to the warnings.
“You’ll never take me alive!” Capitol Fox tweeted.
“Pretty sure they preferred to be called senators! ayy-o!” Ashley Feinberg tweeted.
“They are lobbyists,” another user wrote. “And they are guarding the henhouse.”
Some saw the post as an opportunity to slam Fox News.
“Just pull their press passes,” one user tweeted.
“Be careful of any foxes named Tucker,” another user wrote, apparently referring to Fox News host Tucker Carlson. “They’re particularly dangerous.”
Others warned against disturbing wildlife.
“Ffs leave them be,” a Twitter user posted. “They probably have a temporary den around and will leave soon.”
“Mommas probably protecting their new babies. People need to leave the wildlife alone,” a user tweeted.
“Please be sure these are not momma foxes simply protecting their pups. Don’t take a mom Fox from her babies,” a third Twitter user wrote, tagging the official Twitter account for White House pets.
Illinois Rep. Chuy Garcia tweeted, “I stand with the Capitol Fox. All animals should be allowed to live their best lives. Let it be free.”
According to The Humane Society, foxes “live among us in cities and towns, where scavenging for food makes life easy.”
“They generally avoid people, but the lure of easy food, such as pet food or unsecured garbage, can result in backyard visits,” the group’s website states, adding that the “best thing to do is leave foxes alone.”