AURORA, Colo.-- A school in the Cherry Creek district tried to outsmart a fox, but the actions enraged wildlife rescue groups that say, in doing so, the school may have left the fox's offspring abandoned.
A fox den just steps away from a side door at Pine Ridge Elementary School was filled in.
"What a negative situation this has turned into," said Jack Murphy or Urban Wildlife Rescue.
He said it's negative because the school admitted filling in the den out of fear for what the mother and the kit might do. "I mean these poor little kids are sitting here and they have administrators that are burying foxes alive."
Wildlife rehabilitator Carol Monaco said the school should have turned the situation into a real-life learning experience for the children. "I have never heard of a fox attacking a child. Foxes are very afraid of people. It was a terrible lesson for the kids," she said.
A school district spokesperson told FOX31 Denver the den was filled in by a maintenance worker without permission.
Monaco said she's fielding calls from concerned parents about the baby fox feared abandoned. "I'm very sad because I think this animal didn`t really need to be disturbed. She was doing her own thing, she had her babies, she was no danger to anyone and there are things they could have done."
Murphy hopes the mother fox dug her way out of the filled-in den.
The district said the safety of the children is its first priority.
Pictures have surfaced of the kit fox outside the den alone. And just this weekend, we received pictures of an adult fox in the area.
The wildlife group involved in this story says it's the first time in more than a week an adult fox has been seen. They are hopeful it is the mother and the kit will not have to be rescued and rehabilitated.