I think they are adorable, with their fluffy tails and little pointy noses and ears. In fact at one point it was a dream to own a fennec fox as a pet. I changed my mind to "maybe", but you can see why I had the initial desire:
See, whilst I adore fennec foxes and think they are ridiculously cute, I am also aware that they are a wild animal that has only recently been domesticated. I should perhaps start on a more domesticated species as my first "big" pet step-up from hamsters and fish...
I am also aware of how the urban foxes that live throughout London, whilst living near humans, are still wild animals.
I want to point you to this article, from This is Local London, a friend posted up on Facebook. It is a RIDICULOUS story of a fox walking in on a man on the loo, then biting his cat's face and him and his parter as they chase it around their home. It also comes complete with awful posed photos reenacting the scene. Seriously, go read it.
Anyway, there are just a few things I would like to say about this article:
- Everything, from the in-depth description of the "attack" to the weird reenactment pictures, screams "slow news day".
- It is one of the worst pieces of writing I have ever read, and I read the Twilight Saga...
- To reiterate my last point, it includes the quote "I didn't even have time to wipe myself." This is the level of journalism we're at, ladies and gents...
- The fox manages to "nose" its way into the loo - LEARN TO CLOSE THE DAMN DOOR, MAN. Even if you don't lock it, at least close it so no one / no animal can just push the door with their nose to open it!!
- The guy is quoted as saying, "It was so frightening. It was like a wild animal." Guess what, it IS a wild animal! And you chasing it with your hands outstretched like in the picture below is going to scare the crap out of it and make it follow its defensive instincts - i.e. IT IS GOING TO BITE THE CRAP OUT OF YOU AND ANYTHING NEAR YOU THAT MOVES.
"Just like that..."
- You say the cat's face was mauled. To be honest, it doesn't look too bothered in this picture. In fact, it looks more pissed off than scared - it has a lust for revenge in its eyes... I just feel sorry for it that its owner terrified a wild fox into a biting frenzy.
"I've been through worse with the cat down the road...just wait 'til he comes back..."
- He says the cat is too scared to go into the living room. Can I just ask, where the hell is the picture above taken, then?
- "At the time I wanted to kill the fox. But it must have been in real trouble, really hungry. It panicked - I don’t blame it for that." Let's just read that again "At the time I wanted to kill the fox". Not only is it bad grammar (the journalist should've put a comma after 'time', otherwise it's an incomplete sentence), but it makes me feel even less sorry for the man who was chasing after a fox with his bare hands stretched out, even if he did realise the poor thing was terrified afterwards.
- "We were concerned for our neighbour’s baby next door." Not every fox is planning its next baby attack, but hopefully your neighbours take care to not leave their baby unsupervised where a fox can easily access it.
- I could go on... Just read the article and see for yourself.
- THEY ARE WILD ANIMALS. DO NOT GO UP TO THEM WANTING TO KILL/STROKE THEM WITH YOUR HANDS.
- Don't chase a fox that has wandered into your house. If you run towards it, it will attack you. It is in strange territory and there are giant animals chasing it - it WILL bite you in defence. Instead, move very carefully around it. Try to close doors to prevent it running further into the house, and gently "shoo" it out with a tea-towel or something else that helps you keep your distance without being overbearing, for your safety and the fox's calmness.
- If you cant get it out your house, or it seems aggressive, trap it in a room (by shutting the door, that is) and call an animal service like the RSPCA who have experts that know how to deal with wild animals.
- Be aware that they are carnivores - I love foxes, but I am also aware that they eat bunny rabbits, another of my favourite animals. In fact, if it weren't for us humans killing off a lot of the rabbit population with myxomatosis to keep them off of crops, foxes wouldn't have wandered into urban areas looking for food.
- Be careful when you leave back doors and downstairs windows open. It is rare that a fox will come inside, but foxes are curious, just like cats, and might wander in - especially if they smell food. They are getting braver around people, so don't invite them into your unattended kitchen.
- If you don't want them near your home, do not feed them. Also, don't feed them inadvertently - keep your rubbish properly tidied away in dustbins.
- Foxes do sometimes attack cats, but we have lots of cats and foxes around where we live and they steer clear of each other. Also, cats are far more likely to be run over than be killed by a fox (1in4 pet cats are killed on the roads in the UK, whilst fox attacks are very rare).
- If you have a cat, don't leave its food outside as it will attract foxes. This will piss off the cat - just watch this video...
- JUST BE CAREFUL. Just because something is fluffy, doesn't mean it's automatically a nice animal. Wild animals are unpredictable.
Anyway, the whole thing is just bad, lazy journalism. Sarah Trotter & others at This is Local London made this man look like a bit of a tit whilst trying to get a cheap easy-scare story - "ooo people don't like urban foxes! Let's write about them attacking people and cats!" Well, it backfired as readers soon figured out that the man was the agressor and scared a wild animal into attack-mode. The comments section is hilarious - I recommend you read them and see how badly this story has gone down with readers.
So what have we learnt today? Foxes are WILD ANIMALS that EASILY SCARE and you should NEVER go up to them if you want a guaranteed bite-free day. Also, local papers are weird.
EDIT: It seems that Anthony Schofield (the man the article is about) has gone on a reply-spree in the comments section of the article. It's an interesting read. Be aware that the comments are from a man who let someone photograph him on the toilet, for an article about his "frightening" ordeal with a wild fox, where there was "blood everywhere". He also said the sentence: "There are a lot of foxes around here - it was an utter surprise." I dunno about you, but I think it would only be a surprise of there weren't a lot of foxes around there.
Also, the more I read the article, the more I feel the over-exaggerations in the writing perhaps give away that there may be some over exaggerations in the story... Hmm...