The city government of Lincoln, Nebraska annually buys four gallons of fox urine from a trapping supply company, but not because there are dozens of avid hunters and trappers working for the city. Apparently, Lincoln has a problem with Christmas tree thieves.

The fox urine is mixed with glycerin and water and is sprayed on the trunks of hundreds of evergreens in city parks to prevent them from getting clandestinely cut down and stolen. The smell of the fox urine is dulled outdoors in the cold, but becomes unbearable when “thawed” and brought into a warmer environment, like a house.

“The fox urine smells like skunk. And this year, we added a little bit of skunk essence to it, so it’s a really good batch,” Dave Allder, a city parks supervisor, told the Lincoln Journal Star.

Warning signs are posted in city parks to let potential thieves know about the vile tool defending the trees. The city reports that it has not lost a single tree yet this year.

However, residents with evergreens growing on private lots have had some trees stolen. Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner retold the story of a Roca-area homeowner who would post the sign saying “this tree has been sprayed with fox urine” for years without actually spraying it. The tree got so big that he stopped putting the sign up, thinking nobody would take it, after which it was nabbed.

Image from Neil McIntosh (Harlequeen) on the flickr Creative Commons

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