Resident Dr Mohammad Hussain spotted a fox in The Gardens area in Dubai. Image Credit: Courtesy: Dr Mohammad Hussain

Dubai: Foxes have been spotted prowling The Gardens area in Jebel Ali and residents fear the animals may attack them if they are not removed from the residential neighbourhood.

The Gardens resident, Dr Mohammad Hussain, has been spotting foxes every night for the last two weeks during his daily strolls and fear of an attack has forced him change the route of his walk.

“I have seen a fox almost daily, mostly under a tree, near the playground in The Gardens. I find it intimidating. The presence of a wild animal in a residential neighbourhood is a matter of concern,” said Dr Hussain, who has been living in the area for the last three years.

After spotting the fox a few times, Dr Hussain informed the security guards, who didn’t have any idea how to tackle it.

“When I informed them that there is a fox prowling in the area, I was shocked by their response. They said that they knew there were a few foxes in the area but since nobody complained about it before, they didn’t consider it a problem,” added Dr Hussain who is a dentist.

Dr Hussain says that fear of an attack has now forced him to change his usual walking route.

“I go for a walk around 10.30pm with my wife and his 18-month-old daughter. Usually, we walk around the playground/swimming pool area, but after I spotted the fox a few times, I have now changed the route. I have stopped taking my daughter out now and I carry a stick with me whenever I go out for walking,” said Dr Hussain.

However, Dubai’s wildlife expert Dr Reza Khan says foxes are not a threat to humans.

“Spotting a fox in areas close to desert is normal. We have spotted foxes in Al Warqa’a and other areas as well. They come looking for food, but they don’t attack humans, residents should not worry,” said Dr Khan, urging residents to call Dubai Municipality’s toll-free number 800900 to arrange a rescue for the animals.

He added that since The Gardens is close to desert and was once part of their natural habitat, it is natural for them to stray into the area.

“There are so many foxes in the desert and you cannot control their movement. Residents should not be concerned as these animals don’t attack unless they are under attack,” added Dr Khan.

Other residents have also spotted foxes in the area and some have even complained to the management to no avail.

A housemaid working in The Gardens area said that she once spotted a fox near a garbage dump.

“Initially, I thought it was a dog, but then I realised it was a fox. I had gone to dump the garbage at night but since that night I am scared to go out at night for fear of an attack,” said the Filipina maid, who requested anonymity.