COVINGTON — Students at South Salem Elementary School in western Newton County have remained indoors for the past two days due to a sighting of a fox on the property near the elementary school and the adjacent Liberty Middle School.
According to a notice sent to parents from South Salem Elementary School Wednesday morning, a parent notified the school on Tuesday that a fox was seen on the schools’ property near Salem Road.
“We notified the authorities, and the Newton County School System called in trappers who examined the area and found evidence that a fox had been on school property,” the notice stated. “They laid traps to capture the animal(s) yesterday and went out and didn’t see anything.”
According to Sherri Davis-Viniard, public relations director for NCSS, students at South Salem Elementary have remained inside since Tuesday as a precaution, but extracurricular activities were expected to be held outside at Liberty Middle School Wednesday afternoon.
In May, two 6-year-old students were bitten by a wild fox on the playground at Rocky Plains Elementary School. Traps were set for that fox as well, but it was not captured immediately after the incident.
Melissa Cummings, communications/outreach specialist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, said the fox population has not noticeably increased in the area.
“Anytime there is construction in an area or other activity, it can displace them,” she said. “Foxes and coyotes are everywhere, and it’s possible that people have a heightened awareness to their presence since there was the incident last year.”