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Is Mr. Fox fantastic? We bust urban fox myths


1st Jan 2015 Animals & Pets

Is Mr. Fox fantastic? We bust urban fox myths

Pesky urban foxes or lovable neighbours? Read this article and decide for yourself.

Who is Mr. Fox?

Fox hunting was finally banned in the UK in 2004, and it seemed we were starting to take a shine to our fox friends, but some foxes, in particular the urban fox, are still seen as a menace. So lets take a closer look at these endearing but sometimes misunderstood animals, and see if we can discover who Mr. Fox really is. 

The fox is the most widespread and successful species of wild dog in the whole world, living on every continent except Antarctica. Foxes make their homes in cities, the countryside, mountains, grasslands, and even deserts and the Arctic. But for many of us, the most commonly sighted fox is the urban red fox. 


Watch Mr. Fox make a 5 decker sandwich in Chernobyl

Foxes, wolves and bears are now being spotted in Chernobyl, humans haven't inhabited the zone since the 1986 disaster.


Urban foxes, fast food and family

As much as urban foxes would be happy enough with the contents of a discarded fast food tray, the fox will also eat just about anything else, including worms, spiders, berries, and even small mammals or birds.

Foxes show great care for their young, with females (vixens) caring for their cubs for around four months. The vixen will usually be supported by another none breeding female, who is aunt, or nanny to the cubs, and the male (dog) brings food to the den for his family. A recent news story reported a fox cub trapped in a snare was kept alive for two weeks by his parents bringing him food. Foxes are also monogamous, having one mate for life. 

Foxes are very playful animals, and as curious as they are smart. They are notorious for pilfering golf balls from golf courses, and items from your garden that they find interesting. Shoes, gardening gloves, dog chews - don't blame next door's dog or pesky children, it might be your local fox adding to his collection of toys! 


Proximity to people

But of course, for the urban fox, life in such close proximity to people is bound to be delicate. There has been a few reports of foxes biting humans, but remember they are wild animals and will only attack if threatened or defending themselves. If you do find a fox in a shed or your house, then leave the door open. He will leave as soon as possible. 


Call to cull?

Foxes may be free from the hunt, but there are still calls for the fox to be culled, especially in urban areas. In truth, despite the sometimes messy nature of humans leaving easy pickings for the foxes to eat, fox numbers are not increasing. Fox populations manage themselves by not having more cubs in a litter than they can care for. 

Foxes can also recognise each other’s voices, just like humans can, and like us, they prefer a clean house. They move their den every six to eight weeks when they have cubs, keeping their living area clean of droppings and moulted fur. 

The fox may have the reputation of a cunning trickster, from folklore and fairytale, but in reality the fox is a noble creature, with strong family units and a spirited nature. Both Mr. and Mrs. Fox are indeed fantastic.

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