Tuesday, 22 July 2014

What is it about foxes?

I don't like foxes.  Granted, they can be magnificent-looking creatures, although most of those I see are scraggy and possibly downright mangy.  But what I dislike most about the animal is the way it has of killing for the sake of killing.

Foxes are carnivores, but then, so are cats both domestic and large ones in the wild, and mankind as well, although i suppose that to be rather more accurate man should be classified as omnivore.  Being both carnivores and wild animals, it is hardly surprising that foxes kill.  That, after all, is how they are going to get their food.  And while I have every sympathy with farmers who lose the odd lamb or two to the local fox, I do have a little sympathy for the fox as well.  (I had better not let Julian hear me say that as he has a small flock of sheep and regularly loses lambs to the fox.)  But what is worse than seeing one less cuddly black lamb in the field in the morning, is seeing a hen-house full of dead birds, every one killed by the fox who just took one.

It is generally assumed that foxes will not attack humans.  But my younger son can testify to the opposite.  When aged 13, he had a paper round and as he went up the path at one house, a fox followed him.  Neil was well aware that foxes pose no threat to humans so he was not bothered.  But the fox followed him along the road and, eventually, lunged at him.  When he got home (having been rescued by a kindly householder) my wife rang the council pest control office.  They expressed disbelief but were finally convinced that the attack had indeed taken place.  The general consensus was that this fox was accustomed to being fed from a bag by a human and it thought the paper bag contained food.

I think there are possibly almost as many foxes in towns now as there are in the country, the creature having adapted supremely well to urban living and finding much of its food in dustbins.  It used to be the case that foxes would keep away from farmyards and urban gardens that smelt strongly of dog but that is no longer so.  Just why there should be such antipathy between dog and fox is something I don't know - and I'm not sure that anyone has ever researched the matter.  But it is most certainly the case.  If she thinks there is a fox in our garden, Fern barks furiously.  She does that when she hears the fox bark during the night - much to my annoyance!

I do wonder if foxes actually taunt Fern.  As we walked up the drive this morning I noticed that a fox had left a calling card right outside the kitchen door - and as soon as I have hit the "publish" button I must go and clear up the fox shit.

There's always something.


joeh said...

I only see them occasionally on the golf course. I am excited to see them and they seem healthy and quite handsome. If I owned a hen house I would definitely have a different opinion.

Brighton Pensioner said...

And I've had to clean the drive again this morning!

#1Nana said...

We had foxes set up home under our garden shed this spring. We had to clean up animal remains. Our local animal control advised us that it was okay to kill them since they were not an indigenous species. The spouse killed one (and sent a DNA sample off to the state as they requested), and soon after the family moved out. The animal control guy told us that they move on when they've killed all the easy food in the area. It was interesting to have them for a short imd, but I'm glad they're gone. They got quite bold.