Sunday, 18 March 2018

Urban foxes

by Alex Porter

Foxes which lived in dense forests and woodland areas in the past have moved and made their way into our towns and cities. They are scavengers,finding whatever food is available, either given by humans or hunted by themselves and have become known as Urban Foxes.

 These foxes continually colonise and therefore spread through urban areas fairly rapidly. In fact, in Britain, foxes were first established in cities such as Bristol and London during the 1940’s and these areas are now some of the most colonised areas in the country. With 1 fox per 100 cats in Bristol, it is evident how they have grown in a relatively short period of time. Normally, a pair of foxes produces 4 or 5 cubs a year and there are around 150,000 Urban Foxes living in Britain and numbers continue to expand.

Foxes are mostly nocturnal, however you can see urban foxes out during the day. Most foxes are very allusive and are usually only seen at a glimpse. For  most of the day they hide away in their dens. Foxes either dig these out themselves or take over rabbit burrows by enlarging their openings, or they also live alongside badgers’ setts.

Where I live there are many Urban Foxes and we were amazed to find out when we moved house recently, that there is a red male fox who is ‘resident’ in our garden. When it is warm and the sun is shining his presence is very evident in the corner of the garden where he has made a comfy bed for himself amongst some dense bamboo. His face, ears and eyes as it turns dusk can clearly be seen, although he is aware of our presence and he will quickly ‘slink’ away if we get too close. We are fascinated and privileged to see such a beautiful wild creature in such close proximity to where we live and we enjoyed tracking his movements across our lawn during the snow a few weeks ago.

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