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Do you enjoy seeing urban foxes?

Love them or hate them, it looks like urban foxes are here to stay.

Following the countrywide lockdown measures due to the covid-19 pandemic red foxes seem to be thriving in our towns and cities.  And, according to a new analysis, those that have been established in urban settings for a number of years, are changing. Urban foxes are becoming more like domestic dogs compared to their rural cousins.

The research team, led by Dr Kevin Parsons of the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Biodiversity, found that urban foxes have smaller brains and were developing a shorter snout with a stronger bite.

“We assessed skulls from hundreds of foxes found within London and the surrounding countryside” says Dr Parsons. “We saw that urban foxes had a smaller brain size capacity but also a different snout shape that would help them forage within urban habitats.”

There was also little difference found between male and female urban red foxes compared with the size difference found between male and female red foxes from rural areas.

Dr Parsons suggests that urban foxes do not need the mental agility to catch the variety of live prey they feed on in the country but a shorter snout and stronger bite would help them feed on the rubbish they find in our towns and cities.

Alongside these physical changes urban foxes are showing less fear of humans. The study findings go some way to explaining how dogs could have evolved into domestic pets.

Study co-author Dr Andrew Kitchener from National Museums Scotland said “Some of the basic environmental aspects that may have occurred during the initial phases of domestication for our current pets, like dogs and cats, were probably similar to the conditions in which our urban foxes and other urban animals are living today.

“So, adapting to life around humans actually primes some animals for domestication.”

The team stress, however, that urban red foxes remain far from domesticated. But the study does show how exposure to human activity can set an animal down this path.

Are foxes a nuisance where you live or do you enjoy seeing them? 

Do you enjoy seeing urban foxes?

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viking
2 days ago
0
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It was quite interesting to read in this weeks Mail on Sunday of a woman's account of her encounter with an urban fox. This caused her to develop Scarcoptes scabier canus, a parasite itch mite that burrows into the skin and caused scabies from a fox coming into contact with house furnishings and clothing. This caused her much distress and expense before overcoming the condition.
Shelfside
14th Sep 2020
0
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Being what I suppose you'd call a 'city boy' my sightings of foxes were pretty much limited to those of Basil Brush on the box...
However on my last visit to the UK last December, before Covid decided to pay a visit, I was maybe 10 yards away from one. About 9PM in Cartwright Gardens, Bloomsbury wandering off to the pub there it was, bold as you like without a care in the world.
Without exaggerating, I was totally transfixed, under the glare of the streetlight it looked truly beautiful...and then it was gone, off into the small park opposite the houses and hotels where I assume it had been looking for food. Shame I hadn't anything to hand to capture the moment.
Slightly away from the topic, I know folk in the countryside and those with livestock such as hens look upon foxes as a menace, I understand that entirely, and I kind of understand the need to control their number - but not by hunting with hounds. God, no. Long live the urban Reynard I say!
Shelfside
14th Sep 2020
0
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To make it perfectly clear, I was 'wandering off to the pub' - NOT the fox.
ArtfulDodger
7th Sep 2020
0
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We have a fox that frequently goes through our garden in the early hours of the morning, sometimes leaving a "deposit". If she senses it, our dog goes ballistic!
Luv2Dance
3rd Sep 2020
0
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Such a shame foxes have been hounded out of their natural habitat in the countryside and had to set up home in urban areas. Don't blame the fox it is probably building development and human behaviour that has driven them out. I live in an urban area where we have lots of foxes, They can be a nuisance digging up the garden and fouling on the ground but that is no different to some dog owners who let their animal do the same in public areas and who should know better, Most people take no notice of the foxes.

If there is such a huge population of foxes residing in the countryside I wonder after hundreds of years of the elite hunting them they are not by now extinct, That proves fox hunting serves no purpose and is incredibly cruel, I am in favour of a farmer protecting his livestock and humane culling if there really is an over population but reports are that fox cubs are being kept and let loose just for something to hunt!

Someone on here said packs of foxes, That is news to me, I have never heard or seen foxes roaming around in packs!!! You might see a couple together but a pack!!!! A pack of Wolves perhaps??

Anyway urban people and areas are used to them. They are beautiful animals and I just wish they could return to their natural habitat and live their life,
viking
3rd Sep 2020
-1
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City dwellers please keep feeding the foxes, this hopefully will take some of these ruthless savage vermin away from savaging countryside livestock and animals . This might placate the lovers of lovely cuddly pets , which they certainly are not.
Luv2Dance
3rd Sep 2020
2
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I wonder if cities have a larger fox population than the countryside? It is not unusual to see a fox walking along the road on a winter evening when people coming home from work and I bet there is one siting on my shed right now, I don't for one minute think city people think they are cuddly pets! They are respected as wildlife that should not be living in cities, Do not think they come into official vermin category.

Anyone would sympathise with a farmer if his livestock had been savaged by a fox or anything else come to that. As an animal lover I personally would be very upset about that, However I definitely do not think the answer is to savage them back!!!

Good to hear others views, all valid I am sure. That is my last comment on the matter.
viking
7th Sep 2020
-1
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If it is possible to get in touch with the local branch of the NFU, I feel sure they will let access to photographs, which may alter some perception of the subject.
jenniealpha
4 days ago
1
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I totally agree with Luv2dance. I do believe that the only foxes left in the countryside are the ones the hoypalloy have bred themselves. All of us who have seen foxes in our own gardens all have seen how beautiful of body and nature they are. Long may they continue to live close to man because that is where they are safest. I cannot believe how cruel and vile that fox hunters are. It cannot be condoned to make an animal suffer greatly before being torn apart. I believe this is why kharma is working its way throughout the human race because of how we live our lives taking all food and protection from all our animals for our own benefit. Ive recently heard that in wilts another 60,000 badgers are to be culled. How disgusting is that. I wouldnt have thought that there were that many left since the last culls. This time of covid is especially helpful to mankind to cover up or hide from view all the things taking place in this country by making us all stay home. Such as animal culling, trees being ripped up and hs2 starting. It stops all those who would protest about what we do because it is unlawful or not accepting of it
SILVER78
4 days ago
0
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I've lived in a rural village in Wales for nearly 14 years and have only ever seen 2 foxes, yet when living in the Midlands we saw them in our road and also there were foxes in the garden of a medical practice where I worked.
Raindrop
30th Aug 2020
-1
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I agree with you Viking although I wouldn't agree with fox hunting as this is a cruel way to end their life. But a farmer shooting them to protect his livestock is fine.
viking
29th Aug 2020
-1
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Agree absolutely Raindrop, so many of the people in this thread seem to think foxes are like domestic animals , but of course anyone living within farming communities know they are far different to cuddly toys. See my previous rant, In my book "cruelty" inflicted by foxhunting is nothing compared to the cruelty inflicted on farmyard livestock by savage artful packs of foxes.
Raindrop
27th Aug 2020
-1
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I hate Foxes. They kill lambs and the reason they kill so many chickens is to silence them before escaping with the one they want. They are smelly, diseased ridden, scrounging fleabags. Do not encourage them please by feeding them.
SallyM14
30th Aug 2020
1
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Wow! And, yet they are in the cycle of life. How do you explain that?
Raindrop
30th Aug 2020
-1
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They look very cute but they are still wild animals and should not be encouraged to come near houses. There's plenty of country side for them to roam.
Irene88
22nd Aug 2020
0
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See them occasinally in our park even in daytime. Only problem I had when our dog rolled in fox poo. It's a unique aroma not to be wished on anyone but dogs love the scent!
sparrer
22nd Aug 2020
0
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I don't enjoy knowing that humans have encroached on their territory so they have to forage in built-up areas. People are selfish and greedy and we are putting up buildings day after day which destroys the countryside.
KayT4
21st Aug 2020
0
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They do not belong in towns, they feed on human rubbish and cause damage to gardens and property. Urban foxes are not healthy, they need to be trapped and returned to the countryside. It should be made an offence to feed them, as it is with pigeons. I love wildlife, but we humans are doing the foxes no favours by encouraging them......
jeanmark
23rd Aug 2020
0
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KayT4, surely we are doing them no favours by enchroaching into their environment with the constant building into these areas. We then blame them for having to adapt to the changes.
Wendy777
21st Aug 2020
2
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Urban foxes run the risk of being hurt or run over on our busy roads. It is especially dangerous for them when they bring up their young in amongst our houses, albeit hidden from view most of the time. But we saw a Vixen and her 5 cubs on our lawn for several days early in the morning, enjoying the morning sunshine. The little family was very vulnerable.
Felix1
21st Aug 2020
1
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Much as I love them, i am afraid for my cat. We think he had a “run in” with a fox and it was many months to recovery.
MrsTina
21st Aug 2020
1
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I have them come into my garden a lot just to rest
Tigressa
21st Aug 2020
0
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I love to see them, but I do wish people wouldn't feed them. They are possibly becoming too dependent on us, and leaving chicken carcasses around encourages rat. And these I do not like!
Tigressa
21st Aug 2020
0
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I love them but I do wish people wouldn't feed them. They are possibly becoming too dependent on us. Also, leaving chicken carcasses around is encouraging rats and these I do not like!
JoanT15
21st Aug 2020
2
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During lockdown, I have watched foxes on a area of green beside the flats where I live. There have been at least two vixens who have brought their cubs to play on that area of grass. At one time, there were two vixens together with approximately 8-10 cubs, the cubs playing and the vixens standing guard.
SandraK48
20th Aug 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
I love seeing the foxes in the garden. We usually have a mum and a few Cubs every year. They lay out on the lawn in the sun and get quite tame. I would probably feel different if I kept chickens. They are very entertaining.
viking
20th Aug 2020
-1
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My next door neighbour used to have about 20 chickens which were all good egg layers.
One morning he called me into his hen house and pen. I then saw the most wanton devistation. Dead birds 11 of them had been savaged at the neck, and the rest of the body left intact, so presumably the foxes were not hungry just killers.
My neighbour dug down around the hen house approx., 2 feet and lined it with wire netting making sure that it entirely surrounded pen and hen house then placed intruder lights in the pen. After some 3 days later my tearful neighbour asked me in into see the results of this next attack, ironicaly with the same number of deaths.
The result of his experience he sold off the remaining birds and started a campagn to show the dam,age these beasts can do to the countryside.
yo
7th Sep 2020
1
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People who keep chickens are aware of foxes. It is up to them to provide adequate fox proof housing for their birds. Foxes are wild animals acting on instinct to attribute their actions as malicious is ludicrous.
spencer1
20th Aug 2020
2
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Never seen one but i would love too.
Annw45
20th Aug 2020
0
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My son found a fox on the dining room table, it is a semi tame fox which is fed by the locals and wonders round the neighourhood, fortunately it ran away when he shouted at it. My mother used to keep chickens until morning she found them all dead with their head chewed off, again fed by the locals. Foxes are wild animals and should not be encouraged into urban locations. No I do not like foxes.
ecarg
19th Aug 2020
0
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No much prefer to see them in the countryside.
Calderwriter
18th Aug 2020
1
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A couple of years ago on a bright, sunny but chilly Sunday morning, we had a visitor. We were living in France at the time. Outside the glass patio doors that led from our dining kitchen to the garden, there was a small area of wooden decking. On that morning on the decking, we had a visitor. A wild dog fox.

It seems that in many towns and cities in the UK, foxes routinely scavenge for scraps after dark. They have learned two things about human animals: that they are best avoided in daylight hours and that they are a good source of edible scraps. Like their country cousins, urban foxes have to fend for themselves. These days when CCTV is everywhere, foxes are seen regularly on camera in the unlikeliest of urban habitats. Let’s face it, even scavengers have to live. But they are invariably scruffy, unkempt and generally regarded as vermin.

Our visitor was the very opposite. When I looked up from my corn flakes and saw him standing there, just six feet away, I was astonished. He was big, really big, in size about the same as a Labrador. His coat was clean and in perfect condition and his eyes inquisitive and bright. But the most amazing thing about this beautiful creature was his attitude. He stood still for about half a minute, examining us through the glass door.

Did I detect a look of pity for the humans trapped behind the glass? Perhaps. He, on the other hand, was free. His curiosity satisfied, he turned and, in no hurry at all, loped away into the garden.

Never before in all the years that we had been living in France had we seen a fox, never mind one almost close enough to touch. Thank you, mister fox. It was a privilege to meet you.
Wilf
19th Aug 2020
2
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Lovely story-Last year we had a baby fox in our garden who followed me around while I was digging and planting and got within about a yard of me. He was like a puppy. Amazing experience
Munsterlander
18th Aug 2020
1
Thanks for voting!
We have a couple of rangy old fox in our garden and love them. Bless them all

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