Boris urges local councils to tell householders not to feed foxes

In an article in The Independent today, Mayor Boris said it is not his remit to control foxes, that is the job of the local councils.  I live right by Hampstead Heath, and the foxes are becoming bolder and bolder.

They regularly stroll up my garden path to mark out their territory with foul urine, eyeing me with an arrogant, crafty stare.  A friend who lives two doors away bought a pair of guinea pigs for her twins and placed their hutch in the garden.  It only took three days before the guineas were toast.  A fox got into their padlocked hutch, goodness knows how, and munched them up leaving only a few claws.  At night the screams and moans from mating foxes are like the Rape of the Sabine Women.

Animal lovers are blind on this subject.  Even after the awful case of the two baby twins attacked by a fox, one of whom is still in danger, they vow that foxes never attack humans.  But they obviously do!  A dear friend of mine so adores animals, she refuses to believe that the injuries done to the babies was caused by a fox.  In the face of such animal adoration, such ardent belief that foxes are cute, cuddly, innocent pets, pointing out that the fox was caught red-handed seems like cruelty to humans.

Some people, and they are always the kindest people, adore animals and insist on transferring their own kind qualities onto the animal of their choice.  Naturalist Timothy Treadwell lived among the coastal grizzly bears of Katmai National Park in Alaska, USA, for approximately 13 seasons. He so trusted the bears, he would play with them,  give them pet names and cuddle them, believing they loved him back, blind to the fact that they are dangerous predators.  At the end of his 13th season in the park in 2003, after a particularly hard winter, he and his girlfriend were attacked by one of the bears he had petted.  The bear was  starving and desperate for food, and killed them both.

Their story is told in the fascinating documentary Grizzly Man, by German film maker Werner Herzog.  Treadwell was photographing the entire time that he spent with the bears, and sadly, the accident that caused their death was also filmed.  Although the death is not shown in the documentary, you can hear the screams, which are appalling, but out of respect to the couple, only a tiny moment of this is included in the film.

Local councils should continually impress on householders they must not leave food around outside. It only encourages rats and foxes to roam round domestic property, increasing the likelihood of accidents.  Boris and his family were very upset when their much loved family cat got into a fight with a fox and was badly injured.  Possibly immediately after that incident, his attitude to foxes was rather more bloodthirsty than normal.

Few councils are prepared to face public anger by instigating a fox cull.  They should all be more vigilant in encouraging householders not to leave food around outside.  This sensible measure would prevent babies and pets being attacked by foxes.

17 responses to “Boris urges local councils to tell householders not to feed foxes

  1. There is a purblind tendency in, so-called ‘religion’, to ignore this reality, with pictures of young women curled up with tigers, etc. Immediately in the aftermath of the attack on Mombai our local church was offering its usual ‘praise’ offerings, and getting very shirty if it was suggested that this might not be entirely appropriate. (I should stress that this is not my usual experience, I would expect the Vicar to cover the situation)
    People can form relationships with animals – but you are then treated as another animal. In the same way children regard me as just another kid, but bigger!
    Bears play rough with each other, though

  2. It’s true. The film of Timothy Treadwell with the grizzlies is fascinating, but he was dicing with disaster. He called them pet names, cuddled them, they trusted him and he them, but once starvation took hold, a bear’s natural savage tendency took over.

    I am just waiting for a child who has seen the adorable cartoon of Mr. Fox try to pet a fox and be awfully bitten.

    Near where I live, they are all over the place. They are continually in the garden, and I thank God I live on the 3rd floor. The lady who lives in the basement has a child. As you say, if you form a relationship with an animal, you are treated like another animal. Good point! The council should cull some of them, but they won’t.

  3. I did once see a documentary of a Siberian trapper who lived as part of a group, the other two members of which were Siberian tigers!

    It would be interesting to follow this up

    Foxes are bold, though, as I once heard the Ravenmaster of the Tower blushingly admit, of the ravens, “They are impudent”. Oh dear!

  4. Leon, it would. How close did he get to the tigers?

    In Timothy Treadwell’s case, he became so close with the grizzlies, and remember, these are really dangerous animals, that he cuddled them and crawled around like one of them, it was astounding.

    But he had such a distorted view of them, like they were harmless teddy bears.

    I think there will be more fox attacks.

  5. Very similar to the Treadwell report. The film showed him living with them as part of a group. They certainly ‘hung out together’, and travelled as a small group. I don’t think there was much in the way of love and cuddling, however; the trapper seemed to have been the type of natural shamanist described in ‘The Ring of Bright Water’, by Gavin Maxwell

  6. I’ve found reference to a film “When the North Wind Blows”
    http://www.timeout.com/film/newyork/reviews/64454/When_the_North_Wind_Blows.html

    Although this sounds very similar, I definitely remember a documentary, not a feature film, and set in Siberia, not in Alaska

  7. Thanks for the link Leon, I do appreciate that.

  8. It’s impossible to leave a rabbit in a hutch in the garden these days, the foxes will get it. Boris is not being heartless in suggesting a cull, the foxes are very bold now, and all it is going to take is for some little tot to pet one, thinking it is a cartoon, to get its hand bitten.

  9. Anyone who objects to a cull doesn’t live in an area where there are loads of foxes. It is true that they kill everyone’s pets when they get the chance. Can’t people even put their rabbits out in their own gardens?

  10. It is insulting to all animals to imbibe with “human” tendencies.
    Anyone who refuses to respect the animals instincts & nature, are NOT animal lovers.
    You point out the guy who was called “The Grizzly Man”. I saw that program & was disgusted that he insisted on disrespecting the bears nature. His own hubris killed him, not the bear.
    Re: Foxes. The RSPCA haven’t a clue how many foxes there are in London.
    City/Town foxes are far larger than their Country cousins. They have adapted to living here. They do need to be culled. Mange, fleas, ticks & other diseases are spread via foxes.
    I respect foxes, & would never be cruel to them. Equally I understand the problem they cause.

  11. Nessie, a very fair balanced and interesting comment. A lot of people do invest animals with human qualities, ignoring the savage side of nature.

    It is only going to take one little toddler to be allowed to pet a fox for another accident to happen.

  12. Pingback: Tweets that mention BORIS URGES FOX CONTROL « CYBERBORISjohnson -- Topsy.com

  13. In view of the ridiculous and hysterical tweets on twitter than Boris was planning a massive cull of foxes, it is not within the Mayor’s jurisdiction to order a cull on foxes.

    He can only urge the councils to attend to the problem. Pest control is a council problem.

  14. All the animal lovers squeaking about the safety of lovely cuddly foxes need to think about all the kids’ pets they butcher.

  15. There should be a cull.

  16. Pingback: After fox attack, Lefties misquote Boris, trying to whip up anger from the animal lobby | CYBERBORISjohnson

  17. Cristina Parker

    Those baby stories were debunked, injuries having been caused by dogs, just part of the anti wildlife propaganda of this awful government and complicit media

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