Mount Rainier rangers harass foxes for own good

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- Mount Rainier rangers have been squirting water and pepper spray at some rare foxes to re-instill a fear of humans in the animals that have been approaching people and cars for handouts.

The News Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/rekbgR ) Cascade red foxes have been building dens near the Paradise station for easy access to scraps.

Park wildlife ecologist Mason Reid says that has led to four foxes being struck and killed by cars in the past five years.

The foxes are a subspecies found only on Mount Rainier and Mount Adams. They are being considered for listing on the state endangered species list.

It's illegal to feed, trap or kill the foxes, but rangers can harass them for their own good.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com