Leave Our Foxes Alone!

They add grace and beauty to our lives.

Looking thoughtful ("Damn, I didn't mean to bite that kid!) a fox in Britain
Looking thoughtful ("Damn, I didn't mean to bite that kid!) a fox in Britain | Source
on a path in essex
on a path in essex | Source
Foxes in snow
Foxes in snow | Source

Education - not culling - is the answer.

In an unfortunate incident, apparently a fox entered a home in London and bit a baby, biting off the tip of her finger and causing our huge cadre of hysterics to scream for a fox cull by any means possible and rid our cities of our “Urban Foxes.” That this incident is rare doesn’t deter the howls of the mob, misdirected as usual from the doings of the real vermin - Man - and calling for the end of a situation which has given huge pleasure to many who enjoying sharing their topsy-turvy world of the megatropolis with this diffident and shy wild creature.

We have around 30,000 foxes sharing our urban life with us, nation wide. That is a small number, actually, bearing in mind the thousands of rural villages where most appear, leaving a healthy percentage to share our large cities.

After all, the fox has been in Britain far longer than monkey-man: we built our towns on their turf, not the reverse. We have only just repealed the ban on hunting them through the countryside with packs of dogs and uppah class drunks on horseback…”makes us look like macho men, doncha know.” You don’t need an excess amount of brain-cells to see the hunt lobby clapping and cheering over this latest incident which may further their cause of getting the ban repealed by Cameron’s mob. The PM is said to be sympathetic to their appeals and they have never stopped lobbying, infuriated by being denied something, which privileges, as landed gentry and their acolytes, they accept as their birthright and droit seigneur .

The injured baby’s parents had left the front (or back) door open all night which allowed the fox entry (they hardly ever go into our homes). The mother blamed the local council saying they were delinquent on fixing her door! I mean, fer gawd’s sake, what does it take to make a temporary repair on a door to protect your family at night? As many residents do feed the foxes, perhaps it thought the door was left open for a hungry mum (vixen).

Specialists in trapping vermin say babies may be more attractive to a fox because of their milk (and other) smells and that the infant probably raised a tiny, questing hand which she thrust into the fox’s mouth. Regardless, we can’t allow our progeny to be attacked in this manner and people need to be educated in how to treat their furry neighbors.

Informed naturalists like Chris Packham say we are really responsible for the influx of foxes in the first place. “Foxes are scavengers as well as hunters, “ he explained to Sky News this am. “City dwellers leave all sorts of food waste outside their houses, in the gardens or in the street.” Packham explained. “A chicken leg or scraps from the roast are a gourmet meal for a hungry fox which perhaps has several cubs to feed.” He says we should be very reserved and cautious about feeding the foxes ourselves, which many householders enjoy and the fox may begin to depend on. “We need to keep a space between us, physically and emotionally,” he said, “don’t try to make them into the family pet.”

Even should a cull be authorized, expensive trapping by experts would be the only possible method. Poisoning them would imperil our pets and shooting them would be impossible in an urban environment. Trapping and release would be a humane possibility, but trapping a vixen and sending her 100 miles away might lead to the situation of young cubs staving to death in a den while they wait for mum with dinner…and who, say one and all, would pay millions of pounds to exterminators?

Canada has its elk who take over some towns at certain times, to the delight of most of the inhabitants,. Both the US and Canada accept the danger from Grizzly and Black Bears to benefit from the joy of being able to see these great creatures. Australia refuses to cull its crocodiles - although they take several lives from time to time - because they also love and respect these ancient carnivores. India, as we know, carries things to extremes, respecting all life, including deadly snakes like the Cobras.

Our best friends - Dogs - injure and even occasionally kill people in the UK, but we would never cull dogs or deny owners from having them. There is a huge outcry going on at present because we have discovered our hamburgers, sausages and pre-packed lasagna often ‘neighs’ as we open the packet! We cannot accept eating our pals, the horse, and rightly so, although many nations do so with no ill effect.

Yet we bay for the blood of these beautiful and precious wild creatures because one badly nipped a baby (There have only been two or three attacks in as many years from all these foxes!).

Many, including this scribbler, think the foxes like and respect us very much in the main. They realize we are the dominant species by a country mile and stay clear of us nearly all the time in daylight and treat us with caution at all times.

Foxes, perhaps our most emotive wild creature, would have to commit a whole lot more unacceptable acts to us than they have so far to get my support in culling; repealing hunting bans or in any way changing the peaceful co-existence that has built up over the years.

More by this Author


Comments 37 comments

Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

Bob, a most interesting hub. We have a similar situation in the US with Coyotes who now populate every state in the country. I have not heard of a Coyote entering a home and chewing on an infant, but I guess it could happen. Same story as you have with the fox, they were here first.

I would guess that unchecked, any species could overpopulate the country. In the animal kingdom, nature has a way of keeping this in some degree of balance through the survival of the fittest rule. Harsh winters take their toll on many animals, the weak perish, and the strong survive, and the herd stays strong.

We have pretty much eliminated this survival of the fittest law when it comes to human beings. So our herd grows weaker by the year. I'm not saying this is wrong, I'm saying that this is the way it is and it is.

To take a single isolated incident and call for the annihilation of a species of animal is insane.

Humans are far more capable of violence and mayhem on other people than any animals I have heard of. What would be the thoughts if we called for the annihilation of a particular species of people over a single action by one? I doubt this idea would be widely accepted.

It would seem the person who chose to leave the door open all night is the true cause of this incident, not the fox who only did what fox's do.


moonfroth profile image

moonfroth 3 years ago from Rural BC (Canada) & N of Puerto Vallarta (Mexico)

Good Hub Bob! As Old Poolman said, calling for a major cull of a species because of one incident is indeed insane. In rural Canada, as predictable as rain in Spring, ranchers howl for major wolf kills, "arguing" that these vicious predators are taking huge amounts of sheep and cattle. In areas where wolves have essentially been wiped out, the deer population goes crazy, resulting in unusual survival rates among COUGARS---an animal that is much more of a threat to humans than wolves ever were! Let nature balance herself out!


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 3 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Mankind has such a huge history of over hunting or even eradicating species that one would think we would stop doing it. But one would be wrong. We have a deer problem in the hill country and even though the deer tend to commit suicide from time to time by jumping in front of a fast moving car, we realize that we can't get rid of them because of the same reasons you guys can't get rid of foxes.

The popular idea is to set out birth control pellets. I don't think this works really well. Some say, "use sharpshooters" to get rid of them and give the meat to the homeless. But again, that doesn't work in populated areas.

There are just two kinds of people in the world apparently, those who love all animals and creatures and those that don't.


angelladywriter 3 years ago

I love these creatures because they have previously been in my yard and area. Foxes are a beautiful creation of my Heavenly Father Jehovah, so they serve a purpose which is based on their characteristics given to them by our Heavenly Father and Creator . Each of us as a creation, have a role in the support of each other. May we remember that and not always be ready to attack or criticize.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Old Poolman: Agree 100%...we have such little space here or wilderness as you do that the interaction with man and the fox has become something very special

Bob


bac2basics profile image

bac2basics 3 years ago from Spain

Hi Bob. I am right behind you on this and also think maybe the full story isn´t the one we are reading in the press, let´s face it , who in their right mind would leave a door wide open in the British winter? I really believe there is more going on here than meets the eye, I do feel sorry for the baby and her parents but wonder if the whole truth is being told too. When I lived in the UK I had a fox den very near my home( my house backed onto a golf course and wonderful countryside) and I used to bring scraps home from work to feed the fox´s in winter until one day one of them chased my cat across the garden and up the path, it paused on it´s way back to the fields and took a good look at me and I knew it was becoming overly bold because I was feeding it, so I stopped. At the end of the day fox´s are wild creatures and if you know they are in your area surely it´s common sense to take precautions. I really hope a knee jerk reaction doesn´t spark a mass extermination of these gorgeous animals too, haven´t we harmed them enough in the past ?


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Clark. I have followed the drama with your wolves...our foxes only take a toll on hens occasionally. We are fast denuding the planet of all its wild creatures and I suppose there will be no real stopping it unless we stop procreating.

Bob


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Austin star: Agree with birth control pellets, for both species!

Bob


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Angeladywriter: How very true...let's see you on Hubpages?

Bob


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi backto basics: You are probably spot on. The hunting lobby is about as bad as the NRA in the US in the subtlety they use in worming back into favor. Discrediting foxes in any way they can is part of their mandate.

Bob


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Very well said. We have more problems in our lives than foxes, that's for certain.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida

I hope that whatever can be done to stop the killing of the foxes will be done. It would be such a tragedy if one day these amazing creatures were extinct.

I am especially fond of little red foxes....the night ---40 years and 9 months ago--I went into labor an amazing incident happened.

. When I arrived at the hospital, I was examined and told to walk in the parking lot till my water broke. While I was walking, a beautiful red fox sashayed across the parking lot in front of me in no particular hurry. So I have loved them ever since.

thank you for sharing this.

Sending you angels this evening. :) ps


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I was flabbergasted to read that the parents kept one of their doors open all evening. Huh? And this is the fault of the fox, and they should be immediately culled. I can’t comment any more as I’m still sitting here, shaking my head in amazement. Excellent hub, Bob.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

Did anyone come up with an idea about culling stupid parents instead of the fox's? Just a thought.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Yippee! And some of the drunken brats who contaminate our resorts!

Bob

To Old Poolman


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Avian novice...I heard that!

pstraubie 88...lovely image!

Genna ...many don't believe the whole story!


bac2basics profile image

bac2basics 3 years ago from Spain

I think this needs further and fuller investigation before our native foxes are once again persecuted for just doing what hungry wild animals may do if given half a chance.


Pamela-anne profile image

Pamela-anne 3 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

We have been intruding on their living space not the other way round so we must respect our fellow creatures not try to destroy them! We as humans have to realize that we share our world with other living creatures; for this we should be grateful keep the great hubs coming!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

bac2basics: Luckily, the fox does have many admirers who have weighed-in on its behalf.

Pamala-anne: Thanks for visit and following me

Bob xo


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Hi, can you hear me clapping? hope so. I was as mad as you when I heard all the hoo ha going on. Leave our foxes alone. as you said and rightly too, how many people get attacked by foxes? its the stupid people leaving their doors open that are the problem, the family in question should be glad it wasn't a burglar! how can you leave a door open for goodness sake in these days? the other night I had a magical moment of seeing a fox, it was 2.30 in the morning and I always open my bedroom window to get some air in the bedroom before sleep and looking down I saw one under the light just below my window! I was so chuffed! it was beautiful, so great hub and totally behind you there! nell


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 3 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Whoo Hoo! We found a racoon up in the tree by the bird feeder last night. Our dog was staring up at it for hours. But he finally got down and went back to the creek. No animals harmed.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Thanks for lovely comment, Nell. We have to get ready with our swords (quills) for when these upper class pricks start really lobbying for hunting again.

Lovely to see foxes in the wild isn't it?

Bob x


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Star: I like coons, too, although i know they can be a pest and even dangerous if molested. But they are the stuff of life...can you imagine a world with just man? Ugh!!

Bob x


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

When will man ever learn? The animals were here before us and we took their land away from them, not the other way around. Good for you, for writing this hub, I hope its heard all over...the 'shot' heard 'round the world. Someone needs to protect these poor animals.

Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and shared.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi again Tilly...it's "our" night!

\the fox does have a lot of defenders and the furore has diesddown as the horsemeat saga and the arrival in Russia has filled the news (plus the Blade Runner killing his girl friend, such a sad affair).

Night night 11:00 pm here

Bob


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York

Ouch, 7:35 here. It is a sad world isn't it Bob? The "Blade Runner Killing" is such a terrible tragedy. Well, I hope you're heading for the sheets soon.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

That is a scary thought. I too live an area that is pretty well known for coyotes. I walk with my dogs to the fields, and I never let them out alone in darkness. I can't imagine one getting in my house.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Becky: Coyotes are a tad more dangerous to domestic cats and small dogs than foxes. When I lived in South Baja, i lost a few cats to them. But coyotes are more afraid of man that foxes i think, mainly because we don't bother them...they shoot coyotes sometimes in the US. We used to hunt foxes but relatively few were killed.

When I lived in San Diego, coyotes used to come in up the canyons and take cats, too, you are right to be cautious

Bob


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

Great hub, Bob! I am extremely lucky to get to observe these beautiful creatures often as we own several hundred acres of farmland with many areas of woodland and swamp. The native fox is of the gray variety--actually a dull red and gray color--but the red fox is in abundance also as it was imported for hunting long ago.

I get to watch both species often while sitting in my deer stand--used mostly these days for photo ops more than hunting--and enjoy watching them hunt and play late of an evening.

Their numbers here seem to stay the same, along with the bobcat, raccoons, and other wildlife found in this isolated area. I really enjoyed the read and hope people don't get the wrong idea about these wonderful animals. Rated up and awesome!

--RG


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Hi Randy:

How fortunate to be able to see all these species getting on with their lives. In Britain, at 700 people per square mile, there's not much space left for wild creatures. But that does mean we tend to protect those we do have...the foxes have been forgiven this time!

Bob


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

I can't even imagine having nothing but a screen door that is solidly closed and locked being the only thing between me and the rest of the world, and you say the family of the child that was bitten didn't even have a solid screen door that was locked and closed! It was in poor repair and wouldn't close or lock properly.

There are people here who live the same way and they are always the ones on the news who exhibit shock when their home is ransacked or a child in their neighborhood is kidnapped or killed. For some reason they think those things only happen elsewhere to other people.

People need to take some responsibility for themselves, their families, and especially for their little children, and do the smart thing to protect them. With the smell of food trash outside wafting in the breeze and the door left open, what else would a wild animal think but that they were invited to a smorgasbord and so enter with great expectations?

Imagine if you had bears or alligators in the neighborhood as we do in some places here in the states instead of just foxes? The only thing left might have been the tip of the baby's finger! Even a locked screen door in good repair will not keep a bear out.

Times have changed, probably even in England. Don't blame the fox. It is the responsibility of people to secure their homes and their children.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Too true m'dear. The mother did get well and truly lambasted in the press and because she was such a looser, perhaps, the furor to get reynard died down quickly! Now if it had been a rich man's child...!!!


sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 3 years ago from India

Diogenes, what I feel is that we did inherit the earth along with all the creatures that god made. So they also own the earth as much as humans own. So long any creature is not spreading any disease, we do not have right to kill it. I think not only foxes but all wild animals like tigers, lion and other big cats, elephants ( list is endless) should be left alone. They do not need us.


Trish_M profile image

Trish_M 3 years ago from The English Midlands

Hello Diogenes,

While I am always concerned when I hear of children being maimed by animals, I think that fox attacks are unusual and ~ as you say ~ dogs probably hurt more children than foxes do.

We used to have fox dens at the bottom of our garden and I once found a cub fast asleep on our lawn. I wish that my camera had been handy.

A neighbour called in the exterminators. I was not at all happy about it. I was very pleased when the men could not find the fox holes.


Writer Fox profile image

Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

In defense of my specie, dogs bite and kill more humans every year than foxes do. And most of those dogs are family pets!


diogenes profile image

diogenes 3 years ago from UK and Mexico Author

Now they're culling the poor badgers...I hate mankind Bob


HollieT profile image

HollieT 3 years ago from Manchester, United Kingdom

I live in Manchester, UK, and fairly regularly there's a fox at my back fence, I'm pretty sure the same one and pretty sure it's a vixen. I don't invite her into my home, we have an understanding. I leave some scraps when she appears (every few weeks) she takes them and leaves.

Nor did I invite domestic cats and dogs into my home when my son and daughter were babies. To differentiate between domestic dogs, cats and foxes is ludicrous. Each will do what they have to when they need to survive, that's nature- the rest is up to us.

To hunt these beautiful and captivating animals is criminal, IMHO. I like having them around. The thought of them fleeing a pack of dogs and idiots on horseback is mind bending!

And yes, the badgers! Yet another reason to weep.

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