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Old 11 December 2017, 12:21 AM
dfresh dfresh is offline
 
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Default Fox breaks into London House to use Cat's Bed

A fox broke into a woman's house to steal her cat's bed.

It is an adorable fox. I figure it was just cold and wanted to sleep over. Since it is in the UK, and there is no rabies there, I figure that took off a major worry. Here if a wild animal starts acting too friendly, I figure it might well have rabies and force it away.
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Old 11 December 2017, 01:14 AM
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One of the biggest problems with foxes in the UK is caused by people thinking they are cute little harmless creatures, when in reality, they are wild vermin perfecly able and willing to kill native wildlife, birds, and pets.
There’s entire organisations and clubs dedicated to ‘protecting’ them. Here in Australia they are treated for what they are - pests that need to be shot.
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Old 11 December 2017, 01:19 AM
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We used to have a visiting possum that would come in and eat cat chow with our kitties. I found her curled up with them one morning, but since there is rabies in our area, along with parasites, I nudged her into a cat carrier and released her in a National Forest. The possum seemed at ease with pets and people, but Lord knows a possum can't match a fox for cuteness.
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Old 11 December 2017, 03:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
One of the biggest problems with foxes in the UK is caused by people thinking they are cute little harmless creatures, when in reality, they are wild vermin perfecly able and willing to kill native wildlife, birds, and pets.
There’s entire organisations and clubs dedicated to ‘protecting’ them. Here in Australia they are treated for what they are - pests that need to be shot.
Red foxes are native to the entire British archipelago.
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Old 11 December 2017, 03:44 AM
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I wonder if someone had made a pet of it. (That isn't legal here, but it can happen. I don't know about the UK.) That seems to me to be extraordinary behavior for a fox otherwise; but if that particular fox had previously shared a house with a human and cats, then it quite possibly was trying to do so again. It might even not know how to manage on its own -- which is one reason (though not the only one) you're not supposed to make pets out of them.
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Old 11 December 2017, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
One of the biggest problems with foxes in the UK is caused by people thinking they are cute little harmless creatures, when in reality, they are wild vermin perfecly able and willing to kill native wildlife, birds, and pets.
Foxes ARE native wildlife, thanks. To the extent that they kill birds, that's part of the ecology. Maybe you're thinking of cats...?

Of course, some animals, birds and plants do better in the sort of suburban environments we've created around ourselves, and foxes are certainly able to do well in this environment. I've never seen why that's a problem, really. They rarely if ever attack humans - there was one case a few years ago that the tabloids picked up on where one might have bitten a baby - and people don't run chicken farms in suburban neighbourhoods.

For many people, the suburbs and town is pretty much the only environment they ever see, so they might be overemphasising its importance and think that "the whole country is like this now", but it's not - you don't have to walk (or drive) far to get into actual open countryside in most places.

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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
I wonder if someone had made a pet of it. (That isn't legal here, but it can happen. I don't know about the UK.) That seems to me to be extraordinary behavior for a fox otherwise...
I don't think they needed to - young foxes are pretty tame, or at least unafraid of people in this environment (us townies tend not to chase them on horseback with packs of dogs) and this is one of the times of year at which they're active. The fox I photographed in my parents' garden a few years ago was quite happy to sit round sunning itself with half my extended family - ten or fifteen people - having a noisy barbecue a few feet away. It stole one of the balls that the children had been playing with, and it (or a different one) was also keen on stealing any unattended shoes it could get its teeth into. My parents often leave their kitchen door open when they're around working in the house and garden during the summer, and random bits of wildlife occasionally go in for a look - I'm fairly sure we found the fox checking out the kitchen once or twice. I took a picture of one crossing the road a couple of years ago, and that one had been sitting right by the edge of the pavement on a busy road, waiting for a gap in traffic.

That reminds me that I saw a fox of about that age on my way back from town a few nights ago (Friday). It's the first I've seen for a while, and I was pleased because a couple of the places on my road that would clearly have been good fox habitats - an overgrown garden and some waste ground - have now got new-build houses on them, and I wasn't sure if there was anywhere left for foxes. They've still got the railway embankment though.
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Old 11 December 2017, 12:45 PM
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Not directly related but it sort of follows from my post above - there were some really interesting maps in The Guardian last week showing different animals that had been tracked around urban or suburban environments, and how they dealt with them:

Follow that stork! How animals move through cities – mapped

The one that's closest to the urban fox (although not very - just going by its behaviour on that map) is probably the fisher (which I had to look up to find out exactly what it was...)
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  #8  
Old 11 December 2017, 01:12 PM
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"As I was passing the kitchen, I noticed these rather large ears,"

All the better to hear you with, dearie.
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  #9  
Old 11 December 2017, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
young foxes are pretty tame, or at least unafraid of people in this environment
Ah.

Around here they're quite wild, and very shy of people.

I did once see a fox curled up on a lawn, in the open, near a road, in broad daylight. I stopped the car and backed up (it's not a heavily travelled road), rolled down the window, and spoke to it: I was afraid it might have been hit by a car, or be ill, though I didn't know just what I was going to do about it if it was in trouble. The fox woke up, took one look at me, realized it had been noticed by a human, and ran for the woods.
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Old 11 December 2017, 02:29 PM
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I do see foxes around my place every now and then. They are beautiful, and very good at killing my chickens. I figure losing a chicken every now and then is not too high a price to pay for having wildlife around, especially since the wildlife was here first. I did get angry when a fox killed several of my chickens at once, especially since she (I think it was a she) just left the dead chickens around the yard. That is just poor hunting etiquette.
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Old 11 December 2017, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeptic View Post
There’s entire organisations and clubs dedicated to ‘protecting’ them. Here in Australia they are treated for what they are - pests that need to be shot.
Are you suggesting that the UK should stop protecting foxes, a native species, because foxes are invasive pests in Australia? Would you like them to start killing rabbits, too?
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Old 11 December 2017, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Around here they're quite wild, and very shy of people.
I was worried about the last fox I saw specifically because it was standing out in open area, close to the road. It didn't seem injured, and eventually started walking back toward the trees, so I'm hoping it was okay.
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  #13  
Old 11 December 2017, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
Would you like them to start killing rabbits, too?
Actually rabbits were introduced to Great Britain by the Normans and have, in the past, actually been treated as a pest that needs to be eliminated... that's why we have myxomatosis.

I think people gave up on that one though, because (unlike grey squirrels) I don't think they're pushing out any indigenous species, it's extremely hard to get rid of them, and any harm they do can be prevented easily enough by other means. (Also, as Skeptic says, they're cute and fluffy and you can eat them). If you've ever seen a rabbit dying of myxomatosis you'll know it's not a pleasant sight, and it doesn't do much to keep them down anyway.

The campus at the University of Essex had quite a lot of rabbits, and there was a myxomatosis outbreak while I was there. All it meant was that there were quite a lot of dying rabbits, in obvious distress. That wasn't an improvement.
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Old 11 December 2017, 04:45 PM
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I stand corrected on the status of rabbits in the UK, but my point remains valid. Substitute, IDK, hedgehogs for rabbits.
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  #15  
Old 11 December 2017, 07:18 PM
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We have one of these in our house, but sometimes it appears domesticated.



Edit: my pic doesn't seem to be posting but we have a Sesame Shiba and she looks very foxy at times. Link: https://flic.kr/p/EgRmJG

Last edited by Plurabelle; 11 December 2017 at 07:40 PM.
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