All the odds seem stacked against the red fox, which is hunted for its fur, chased for sport, shot, poisoned, snared and trapped by the thousand as an “agricultural nuisance”. Add the pressures of urban development and the cloud of doom covering this cunning medium-sized mammal is thick indeed.
Having never observed a fox in the wild, imagine my surprise when what first emerged as a reddish-brown splash of fur parked on the grass down at the end of the garden wasn’t Muffin, the cross Irish Red Setter / Golden Retriever family dog, but a red fox. This brazen little vixen (well she does look female) looked perfectly at home in broad daylight washing herself and marking out her territory for other foxes.
Foxes are considered to be nocturnal mammals. Amazing to be so close and personal with what I always considered to be rural wildlife, especially in your own back garden.
A little research soon reveals that the flexible fox has adapted very well to the onslaught of population expansion, in fact it is thriving. In urban Dublin, for example, fox densities average around 1.04 fox families per square kilometre, as, thanks to us urbanites, it has a more regular source of food! (See pics below)