Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Fox attack

There has been a lot in the news yesterday and today of a terrible incident involving a fox in London. Two nine month old twins who were sleeping upstairs in their cots appear to have been attacked by the fox, which entered the house via some open French windows.

The twins are now recovering in hospital. This is extremely unusual behaviour for a fox and I was intrigued to hear that two top wildlife experts are questioning today whether the attack was more likely to have been by a domestic pet, rather than a fox - in spite of the fact that the fox had been found in the babies bedroom shortly after the babies were heard screaming out for help.

The populations of urban foxes have soared in recent years, propelled by the amount of rubbish that accumulates on the city streets and by people feeding them. Urban foxes, unlike their rural counterparts, are no longer shy of human presence and are getting more and more confident.

I hope the twin babies recover quickly from the ordeal and I'll be interested to see how this story unfolds. I remember being warned by a South African friend when I was considering taking my own very young daughter to Africa, to be very careful. Apparently, when babies cry it sends out an irresistible distress call to predators, especially big cats, which often will rush instinctively to see what the noise is and will often be driven to attack.

I know myself if I photograph foxes, I often make a squeaking sound to draw them out of cover. What do you think?


  1. I also think this is very unusual behaviour for a wild animal even an urban fox. As you say it will be interesting to see how this unfolds but with the recent publicity on pet dog attacks and subsequent jail sentences I just wonder if the experts suspicions are correct. I have seen a number of dogs that could be mistaken for foxes.

  2. I know that rabies are not known to be in Great Britain, but I wonder if anyone is testing for that? A few weeks ago wolves killed a school teacher while she was jogging here in Alaska. That is the only documented fatality caused by wolves in the history of the state.