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Week in Review : MAJOR EVENTS, IMAGES AND PEOPLE IN ORANGE COUNTY NEWS : MISCELLANY/ NEWSMAKERS AND MILESTONES

July 06, 1986|Times Staff Writer Maria L. LaGanga compiled the Week in Review stories

It was a case of all trussed up and no place to go.

The red foxes have been out in force at the Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge, eating members of two species of endangered birds, so a spokesman from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced last Monday that the furry offenders would be caught in padded cages and shipped away.

The only problem is that no one wants the carnivorous creatures. Scott Vorhees, spokesman for the animal protection group charged with finding the beasts new homes, said that the foxes are native to the Midwest and that states there have said they already have "populations too high."

The wildlife service said trapped foxes that cannot be relocated to the wild or placed in zoos will be "killed in a humane manner," by injection. Foxes that elude the traps will be shot.

The furor began when refuge experts saw the population of nesting least terns drop from 45 pairs in 1981 to four pairs in 1983. The number of light-clapper rails also declined. "With these two birds, we're dealing with an animal (the fox) that is non-native, that is oppressing, almost eliminating, the birds," said Bob Fields, the Navy's California refuge manager. The Seal Beach refuge is located on the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station.

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