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Foxes are in our cities but are they dangerous?

Here’s some advice on what to do and who to call if you see one in your area.
Jun 28th 2014, 4:15 PM 38,058 77

FOXES AREN’T JUST found wandering around woodlands in the countryside- urban foxes are very common in cities.

They’ve even been seen roaming around Grafton Street in Dublin with dens near the Dáil.

Isabela Berman sent us in this photo of a fox that she spotted near Lincoln Place this week.

unnamed (22)

But don’t worry - Irish Wildlife Matters told TheJournal.ie, “You can be sure they are more scared of you than you are of them.”

In the suburbs foxes do best in estates of houses with large gardens. Areas such as Sandymount show a high density of the creatures.

However, they can also be found in industrial estates and in some council housing areas.

During this time of the year the cubs are emerging from the den.

They will spend a lot of time basking in the sunshine (when we have it) and lying up in bushes and long grass.

What to do if you see a fox

If you spot a fox the advice is… don’t panic.

Foxes are pretty harmless and they will run away if approached but don’t try to corner it as it could bite in panic.

Now be warned some of these guys may seem pretty bold and brave.

This fox was snapped in the Leinster House car park last winter and wasn’t too put out by the people nearby.

90285387 Source: Sasko Lazarov via Photocall Ireland

Some foxes won’t even run away when shouted at from a window, while others can be seen strolling around or lying back enjoying the sun.

This is mostly because urban foxes have become habituated to the city.

If you do see a fox you can go to Irish Wildlife Matters and get the number of a local wildlife rehabilitator for more advice.

90285385 Source: Sasko Lazarov via Photocall Ireland

Do not disturb 

If you don’t want foxes coming to your garden – you need to get rid of their food source, so:

  • Don’t leave out any food or food waste
  • Keep your bins closed and secured
  • Feed your pets indoors.

You’ll also need to make sure that your neighbours are following the same rules.

If you’d like more information on foxes you can go to Conserve Ireland or check out some frequently asked questions at IWM.

Misunderstood 

Fox owner, Mike Towler, thinks that foxes get a bad reputation because they are painted as villains in children’s stories.

He says, “They have the nicest nature of any animal I have ever met, they are considerate, helpful – particularly towards young foxes.”

Towler also points out that foxes provide a very useful function as they destroy the rats and mice you don’t want.

He seems pretty comfortable with his fox who plays a little football and gets a wash and blow dry in this video:

Source: LPSCreativeMedia/YouTube

Read: Fox cub with head stuck in a can gets rescued… and says thank you>

Read: Animal rights groups condemn ‘brutal attack’ on fox in Laois>

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Cliodhna Russell

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