Friday, 5 July 2013
Foxes in the garden - good or bad?
An amazing thing yesterday evening about 8pm. In dad's garden whilst doing pre-Islay bike maintenance... looked up and there, only 3 or 4 feet from me, up on the lawn was a young fox.
Foxes are controversial, lots of people think they're real pests, or worse - think they're dangerous to humans. I knew I didn't agree with that but I also knew I wasn't terribly well versed on the facts, so I decided to read up on the subject. If you 'know' something strongly and want to tell people about it then you have to make sure you're aware of the facts. Surely the more educated that people are about nature the more they will come to love and want to protect it. My feeling is that any wildlife experience is something to be made the most of.
So, foxes in our gardens?:
It was very tame, I certainly could have got it to take food from my hand. But you MUSTN'T HAND FEED FOXES - foxes are wild animals and if you try to that's when you may get nipped. It's okay to feed foxes but only IF you wish to encourage them to your garden.
In an interview for BBC News, Chris Packham, Patron of The Fox Project ( registered charity dedicated to the Red Fox) said, “These animals shouldn’t be hand fed, they shouldn’t be encouraged to be close to people... If you are going to feed them, feed them from a distance and then watch them through binoculars.”
This young fox stayed around me in the garden for half an hour. I did lots of quick drawings, knowing I might not get the opportunity again. It was beautiful, so slender, so sleek. An absolute treat to see a fox so close. It seemed young to be without its parent. It may be one of the cubs that I saw during my recent canal count, landscapeartnaturebirds.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/2013-june-bto-waterbird-count.html .
The Fox Project - http://www.foxproject.org.uk/
Dispelling some of the many fox myths -
- Foxes are not a significant source of disease either for humans or domestic animals.
- Not in the UK do not carry rabies.
- Foxes are not killers, out to get us - the risks of people being attacked by a fox are negligible compared to the risks of being attacked by a domestic dog or cat.
My very quick sketches: