Fox den is discovered at school

As a school principal, Sonya Bailey said she has been trained to handle many things, but this week brought something she didn't expect -- a den of foxes.

"I can't say you are trained to handle wild animals on your property," she said with a chuckle Thursday afternoon.

A mother red fox and her three offspring, called kits, had taken up residence behind a fence near the back of Lake Forest Hills Elementary, Mrs. Bailey said. On Wednesday afternoon, a child spotted something moving and ran from the playground to investigate.

The playground has been shut downas a precaution, she said. The maintenance and public safety departments were called out Thursday, as was the city's animal control.

Teachers and staff members had their share of fox jokes, Mrs. Bailey said, and the children had to be reassured that the foxes were OK.

She said she spoke to them over the loud speaker, telling them of the work of animal control and why it was important for the foxes to be relocated to their natural habitat.

"I definitely didn't prepare for an outdoor adventure," Mrs. Bailey said, referring to her new sunburn.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.