An Australian university may euthanise campus foxes after they bit computing students.
Foxes are not native to Australia but were introduced so they could be hunted. The animals have, predictably, become feral pests that devour local wildlife.
And now they're after computing students, too.
As reported in University of New South Wales student rag Newsworthy, Computer Science student CJ Wong was wandering across the campus with a bagful of McDonald's food one evening when he spotted a fox that was undaunted by his presence and appeared friendly, so he offered it a Chicken McNugget.
His reward was a hasty nip.
Computer Engineering student Liz Willer saw what is thought to be one of at least three campus foxes, thought it was cute and tried to stroke it. She, too, was bitten for her troubles.
The minor injuries inflicted on the two students and a third victim were deemed sufficiently serious to justify tetanus shots at a nearby hospital.
The bites were all administered two weekends ago and it has now emerged that they have prompted the University to hatch plans to move on its skulk* of foxes.
University authorities will attempt to reduce debris in the hope that trims campus rodent populations and causes foxes to move elsewhere of their own accord. The university is adjacent to a racecourse on which prey can probably be found, and close to a large urban park full of birds, waterfowl, occasional rabbits and some rather fearsome eels.
If those temptations aren't sufficient once the campus has been rid of rodents, it's likely the foxes will be euthanised as that's the fate of feral pests once caught in Australia.
Students have voiced opposition to that idea on grounds that the foxes are a distinctive feature of campus life. ®
* Collective nouns for foxes include "skulk" or "leash", according to no less an authority than the Oxford English Dictionary. The former is obviously too cool to ignore.