Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Fox Goes Too Far!

Urban foxes in Wimbledon
Before I moved to London, I thought of foxes as cute, fluffy, utterly benign creatures.  Not anymore.  Urban foxes have become enough of a problem in London that hardware and home improvement shops sell various kids of fox repellent alongside the mouse traps and rat poison.  Foxes dig up people's yards, get into their trash, and in some cases even injure their pets or small children.  Our local fox population in Wimbledon is no exception.  We occasionally spot foxes strolling down the street in the evenings, or slinking through our garden at night, and nearly every week on trash collection day the contents of at least one trash bag is strewn all over the street.  One fox seems to have taken a liking to us (or perhaps quite the opposite), which he shows by leaving "gifts" for us in the back garden. 

It started with fox poop, and then progressed on to trash -- plastic bags, banana peels, and the like.  Next it was fashion accessories...
Fox glove
But this morning, the fox took things a step too far.  The horror show that greeted me in the garden when I came downstairs nearly made me vomit.  Just outside the back window was the decapitated, disemboweled corpse of some kind of animal.  Too big for a squirrel or a rat, too small for a cat.  Maybe a possum, or a rabbit?  I wasn't about to take a closer look to find out for sure.  Occasionally a magpie would fly in and peck at it.  Disgusting!
Headless Disemboweled Rabbit!  SO GROSS!
 To make matters worse, Josh was away on a business trip, so I had to figure out how to deal with this nightmare on my own.  Pest control companies couldn't help me, and my local council office said they only dealt with dead animals on public property.  I threw myself at the mercy of my neighbors, who took pity on me -- probably because I looked like I was either about to cry or puke.  My neighbor came over with a shovel and garden gloves and stoically shoveled the various parts onto a garbage bag, which he put in his own trash can.  He confirmed that it had been a rabbit at one time, and did a quick scan of the yard for any stray bits.  No sign of the head.  Maybe the fox thought another neighbor was more deserving of that trophy.

I shudder to think what the fox will come up with next.  But I'll definitely be baking some cookies for my neighbor...


  1. Have you heard foxes, um, being intimate yet? We used to hear that in Wimbledon ALL the time and it was incredibly loud!

  2. Well, I can hear them scream like a banshee in the middle of the night. Hard to imagine that any creature could be "intimate" while listening to that sound! It makes my skin crawl.

  3. I get raccoons doing that right up against my back door for one week per year. Also lovely. Josh will be really sad that he missed this, I'm sure.

  4. Yuck, yuck, yuck. I have, upon occasion, heard the banshee scream of a fox in the middle of the night, and it scares me half to death. Definitely a terrible noise. Thankfully, none of the Arlington foxes has yet delivered a gift such as the disgusting one you received.

  5. We've heard the screams in the middle of the night (which I initially thought was a woman's screams!) and often have them running around our back yard. We've also seen them when out on a walk in our neighbourhood. This is totally something you don't hear about before moving to London!

  6. I am amazed, a dead rabbit left disemboweled on the doorstep seem to have upset the sensibilities of some, this is NORMAL, foxes eat rabbits, they also eat an awful lot of our not to favourite subject rats, as for the noise they make when mating, can think of a few blood curdling sounds made by humans that would make your hair stand on end. The fact is the fox was there first, we built our houses, schools, roads, etc on the open fields that were once their homes, thereby trapping them in the urban environment they now have to survive in, they did not suddenly get the urge to move to town and join us. I have read so much hype lately about the urban fox, and how big and dangerous it is, utter nonsense, there are many many dogs running around our cities and towns far moor dangerous than any fox could ever be, in fact with the amount of dogs, a lot of them uncared for, they are fast becoming the vermin on the planet not our wildlife, which is now in minimal numbers thanks to our evasiveness's.

  7. Wow! I knew foxes were smart, but I had no idea they had figured out how to use the Internet and pose as humans. What next? Reading and writing?


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