One of the great things about living in the Twin Cities is the green space. Even in the midst of the city it’s not uncommon to encounter wild life. I’ve seen eagles, egrets, herons, fox, possum, raccoon, wild turkeys, coyote and deer. (I do not include geese and ducks, which are like pigeons in these parts.) There have been reports of bears in the metro, as well as the rare mountain lion sighting. We even once had a wolf on the loose that was captured just a quarter mile from the kids school. (It had been “liberated” from a wildlife farm by an animal activist, and sadly it had to be destroyed. Also sadly, the animal rights activist was not.) The native fauna at 20 Prospect is a source of never ending excitement for the Indomitable Moxie, and Maggie the Wonderdog.
Occasionally, the wildlife will even show up at the lair of my Dark Corporate Overlords. Being on the ground floor of the office building, with floor to ceiling windows, we’ve gotten close up encounters with deer, wild turkeys, and even got to enjoy watching a hawk disembowel a pigeon in front of our conference room window. (It was during review time, so I think management was trying to send us a message) These little episodes of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” taking place outside our windows has provided a welcome diversion to the grey, monotonous slog that is the workday.
The latest excitement at the office is the presence of a sick looking, mangy fox. He’s decided to take up residence in a crawl space beneath the window ledge of my boss’ office. The windows being reflective, he wanders in and out at will, oblivious to our presence, much to the boss lady’s consternation. Repeated calls by her secretary to building operations in the last 2 weeks has yielded no apparent results. The response from operations was to send someone over to our building to look around, and when the fox would run away from them, they left assuming that their work was done.
Finally, matters came to a head yesterday when Mr. Fox crawled up on the window ledge outside the boss lady’s office and took a dump in front of her. Phones started ringing, and higher powers were brought to bear. Professional Wildlife Control specialists were called in, and meetings convened to plan a removal strategy. Options were suggested, such as sending someone into the crawl space to spread human scent, hoping that it would discourage him from living there. However, H.R. informed us that employment law prevented us from forcing employees to crawl into wild animal dens, so that idea had to be scrapped. (And we wonder why companies are moving jobs to China, humpf!)
Several employees volunteered to bring their firearms into work to “take ‘em out for us”, but were politely declined on the suspicion that they may mistake one of their supervisors for Mr. Fox. Also, I had a discomforting feeling that the firearms they referred to might already be in the glove compartment of their car.
Finally, it was decided that the humane thing to do would be to catch the animal in a live trap, and then presumably exterminate him somewhere out of view of the employees. (It’s not review time) So I was lucky enough to have entertainment outside the window of the conference room where I’ve been stuck in a meeting for 2 ½ hours, as the gentlemen with “Wildlife Control Professional” embroidered on his Carhart jacket has been inspecting the evidence (poop), and arranging the trap in the bushes. Unfortunately, the trap did not consist of a cardboard box propped up with a stick, and a carrot inside of it. (And he calls himself a professional.)
Now the wait is on to see if the fox, or an unsuspecting employee, wanders into the trap to retrieve the bait. If this works, I may need to tip this gentleman, and see if I can get him to set one of these up in the lunchroom to catch the person that keeps burning the microwave popcorn.