Housing responds to feral cats at Osprey Fountains

Nathan Turoff, Features Editor

Have you seen cats running around near Osprey Fountains? If so, you’re not alone. There has been a wide array of feral cats seen near the upper-classmen residence hall in recent years. 

UNF is no stranger to animals frequenting residential areas. Common animals that students will encounter are geese, raccoons, vultures, and more. However, these cats are not ordinary animals. They are mostly abandoned pets who have been living in the wilderness for some time. They have been seen interacting with both local residents and other animals in potentially unhealthy ways.

A dark brown cat is seen fleeing into the woods, photo by Nathan Turoff

Osprey Fountains is relatively far from the main campus of UNF, with a long boardwalk bridging the forest between the dorm and the rest of the core campus. It is a longer walk from the main campus than any other dorm apart from Osprey Flats. This isolation is likely why they haven’t been seen much away from the dorm. 

Screenshot taken from the official UNF Digital Map, showing how far away Osprey Fountains is.

Spinnaker reached out to the Department of Housing Life and Residence services, who provided this statement in regard to the cat situation:

UNF has several small colonies of feral cats on campus. These animals are abandoned by owners and/or migrate here due to our natural surroundings and food supply. Environmental Health and Safety operates a Trap, Neuter (spay) Return (TNR) program with the help of local volunteers. Residents should not approach, feed or trap the feral cats on campus as they can attack and spread disease to domestic pets. Additionally, residents should not feed the cats as it may attract other animals.” 

Please remain safe and vigilant if you see a feral cat. Also please do not abandon your pets on-campus but give them to a safe shelter instead where they can find a new home easily and safely. 

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