What does the fox say? Ask him while he’s roaming around campus


(Photo: Courtesy of Brian Steffen)

by Mason Burkhart, Special to The Simpsonian

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Squirrels may rule Simpson College’s campus, but sightings of a lone fox have overtaken social media.

The fox, referred to as Copper by many students, has been seen roaming through the Indianola area.

Though it’s unclear the exact species, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources said the red fox is the most common in the state. Foxes aren’t known to attack humans unless provoked.

The animal’s presence has captivated the Simpson community, but it also has raised questions of what people should do if they come into contact with the wild fox.

“When animals are fed by people, they become more comfortable,” said junior Robert Peters, an environmental science major. “The fox has become comfortable, so it won’t run and appears to pose for pictures. I think it’s a very cool thing to have a fox running around.”

Some foxes have been known to cause problems within communities, but students say Copper doesn’t seem to cause damage to private property, landscape or structures.

If you want to try and catch a glimpse of the fox, students say it can be found sitting on car roofs or playing in the flower bushes near Buxton Park.

According to the Iowa DNR, foxes may live up to 20 years in captivity but only up to three years in the wild.