Tuesday, 8 June 2010

World Ocean Day

The safari had a brief look at Patch 1 – not a lot happening. Didn’t count the Blackbirds today but looked to be about similar numbers to yesterday.Here's Frank on the meadow with all the wildflowers, today Creeping Buttercups and Common Sorrel, - just look how golden yellow it is - tomorrow Red and White Clover will be flowering...or will it have been cut and therefore rendered useless for our 'declining due to lack of food' Bumble Bees?Bumped in to some of the other dog walkers and had a chat about the recent dead Fox on the Patch. It now seems that there was only one animal involved that had been reported by different people who had seen it in different places as the carcass had been moved around by the local intelligentsia. Which is a relief cos we didn’t want a mad poisoner to be at large.
Which brings us neatly to the hysteria in the media about man-eating Foxes apparently at large in London. We hope that the two young children recover swiftly from their injuries and suffer no lasting harm. But the hype surrounding this incident is going to cause undoubted harm to our Foxes. The safari is a long way from being an expert on Foxes in urban situations – we only ever see them sulking away from us in the half light of dusk or dawn. We are, however, well aware that some people might like to feed them in their gardens, indeed we managed to start the process of hand taming one in Poland a couple of summers ago. But something about this story doesn’t ring true. Yes there has been warm weather and people have been leaving doors and windows open – an open invitation to unwanted animal and, more importantly, human visitors. Yes Foxes are opportunists but would a Fox really sneak all round the house, in to the kitchen perhaps on the scrounge for a quick snack but up the stairs, unlikely unless there was something that really got its nose excited.
Early in the breaking news there was some indication that the family had a dog, would it not have it gone bonkers if a Fox was in the house – unless of course it was used to it being there? This piece of information now been seems to be ignored, what happened to the dog – is that the real culprit and an imaginary Fox is being made a scapegoat – we don’t know we weren’t there.
Also a bit bizarre is the description of the event “I turned on the light and the Fox just stood there and stared at me” as if this was some brazen defiance on the part of a bloodthirsty wild animal – you’re in a dark room someone turns on the light for a second or two you’re blinded until your eyes adapt. Of course it just stood there – it couldn’t see a way out then whoosh off it went – no not for her throat, for the door!
We just hope that there isn’t a misguided mega-purge on urban Foxes because of this (from the media use of this phrase it almost appears to the uninitiated/uninformed that this is a different species to ‘normal’/‘countryside’ Foxes), or worse used as an excuse for the repeal of the Hunting Act If there is a local purge it’ll not make a bit of difference as there are many young animals trying to make their way in the world many of which wouldn’t survive anyway so putting traps all over the shop ain’t really gonna help and will they ever be able to tell which individual animal this (near) killer was and spare the others – doubt it. Another case of mostly innocent wildlife bearing the brunt of our own ineptitude, mis-information and out-dated prejudices. Apologies to whoever took this pic - we nicked it off Google Images without so much as a by your leave!
The safari loves it when we find evidence of Foxes using the garden at Base Camp, one day we might even get a picture, wwouldn’t want one in the house though not that they are vicious and might carry off Frank, more that they smell summat rotten!
All this m’larky and it’s actually World Oceans Day today…didn’t get down to the sea wall to have a look at said ocean – we were too wussy and didn’t want to stand out there in the rain.
Where to next? Hope its not raining tomorrow cos it's time to get the pond dippin nets out of hibernation!
In the meantime let us know what’s turned man-eater in your outback – and don’t say the blonde next door!


Warren Baker said...

Well done dave for saying what I wanted to say, that is, I reckon the family dog did the deed not a fox. The family dont want their pet put down, the case should be investigated!

Monika said...

Sounds like a pretty crazy story there about the fox. From my experience with foxes, the dog seems far more likely indeed!

Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

hi Monika - Flying squireel - good guess, cute enough but not correct I'm afraid.

Anymore for anymore

Craig said...

Hi Dave...well done for speaking up for the fox.

best wishes,