A Super Species Outfoxed?

A Super Species Outfoxed?

When I was a child growing up in the countryside my favorite animal was undoubtedly the Red Fox. My inspiration was started by the cartoon program Animals of Farthings Wood from a young age and my love grew from there. The Red Fox is classed a super species because that one species has successfully colonized every continent apart from Antarctica and South America and like all successful predators it is superbly versatile and adaptable to survive in the different environments. I still remember my first sighting of a Fox in the car with my Dad on the way down a narrow farm lane to drop me at my friends house and as we arrived Dad went inside to tell the family about the Fox encounter with huge enthusiasm like it would be the farmers best news they would receive that week, month or year. Having parents who loved animals was a huge help in making my decisions and enthusing me. I still remember all those arguments throughout my school days with pro-fox hunt kids. We also did a two week election debate in Ms Henry’s year eight English class regarding everyone’s views on fox hunting and I was president of the anti-hunt group. I cant remember the results on the classroom debate but I am sure I dominated it!

Going back to the present day and it is urban Foxes which are causing a stir throughout the nation. A story arose in the national papers regarding an urban Fox which had reportedly walked into a families house and attacked a six month old baby removing a finger and causing facial damage. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-21399709

I am personally not convinced by the story, I think it has got more holes than a block of Swiss cheese and am looking into other possibilities. First of all the story which was actually printed, that the irresponsible parents left all there doors open on a cold winters evening and a hungry Fox entered the house targeting the unattended baby. This would be an incredibly rare event meaning an incident which does not happen very often like getting struck by lightning or getting electrocuted by a toaster. It could be referred to as a freak accident and very unfortunate for the family involved.

Fox captured by Andrew Jake

The other possibility is that the Fox was used as a scape goat to cover up the true incident that took place. Domestic dogs kill one human a week in the USA alone and in the UK there are thousands of hospital emissions for dog bites every year with one in three domestic dog owners having been bittern by their pet. and it is a frequent occurrence that would normally only fill a few column inches in a national UK paper. Passing the blame to those ‘evil’ ‘vermin’ urban Foxes would be an easy option to protect your pet from been put down.

It could just be a big political stunt to brainwash the nation to get a few more desperate votes to increase chances to legalize the hunt again in the future so those ‘dog lovers’ can jolly the countryside and get pleasure out of tracking and torturing our wild dog. A simple and effective way to turn people against a species. Mayor of London Boris Johnson who enjoys killing animals calls for a cull saying urban foxes are a pest. The Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph has always publicly supported blood sports and are famous for over-exaggerated and controversial stories regarding wildlife. They have referred to the Red Fox as dangerous, evil, savage and brutal. Karl Pilkington must be sick of flying into their offices and shouting Bu***hit!

A few days later another story appeared in the Daily Mail telling the story of a teenager who got attacked by an urban fox while out jogging. Again another tactical stunt with rumors that the family run a ‘vermin’ pest control business in London. Of course it would never get highlighted that urban Foxes do an excellent job controlling the Rat populations in towns and cities but that would mean having to say something positive. Paying all that money on trapping and poison when Foxes do it all for free.

Vermin is a derogatory word used to describe something that is a pest causing damage and destruction to other interests…but that’s enough of talking about the Daily Mail now.

Species did not evolve over millions of years to adapt perfectly to their surroundings and play a vital role in their ecosystem to be described as not needed ‘vermin’.

By the end of the week a proper news headline appeared in the papers about a meteorite striking the earth and injuring 900 people in Russia. Surprisingly urban Foxes did not get the blame for that one. Would it be the worst thing in the world if the next meteorite to hit earth landed on the Daily Mails HQ offices? That would be a good way to control our real vermin problem.

Ewan Miles

Ewan Miles

Ewan Miles is currently working on the isle of Mull for Sea Life Surveys as a wildlife guide. As well as trying to inspire passengers about the wildlife off the north coast of the island he also contributes to the research of the marine life. His local stomping ground is the vast upland area of Geltsdale, Cumbria in the Northern Pennines.

Vanished - Megascops Choliba by Jose Garcia Allievi

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Ewan Miles

Ewan Miles

Admirer of everything regarding the natural world. My local stomping ground is the vast upland area of Geltsdale in the north Pennines. Currently a Wildlife Guide for Sea Life Surveys on the isle of Mull.

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