Thursday, 10 June 2010

Urban 'Fox' Attack

This may be a bit controversial, and not everyone who reads it will agree with me. But frankly my dear, I couldn't give a shit.

You will all no doubt have heard the news recently that 2 small children were supposedly attacked by a fox that got into their house through a back door. As tragic an incident as this is, it is being blown way out of proportion by the media and people who are easily manipulated by what is reported in the news, newspapers, magazines and the internet.

How many of these people that write into newspaper letters pages and internet forums actually know the first thing about the topic they are outraged by? I'm guessing very few, if any. These are people who are just looking for something to rant about and feel like they're a part of something. All over the country right now, mothers of young children will be banging their heads repeatedly on their keyboards in blind anger about a subject they have little or no understanding of.

One person in the Sun letters column today wrote:

"Foxes have been the scourge of the countryside for years, with hunting raising numerous debates and protests. It was horrific reading how two babies in London have been mauled by one that sneaked into a house. These deadly predators have moved from the country to the city and now have no fear of where they roam."

How very ignorant of you, dear reader. Firstly, foxes have not raised any debates; humans have. Secondly, the fox did not 'sneak' into the house, it found an open door. Perhaps there was a smell that caught it's attention. And third, they are not 'deadly predators' as you so elegantly and unbiasedly put it. (I have checked that unbiasedly is a word). Most foxes would run from a pet cat, let alone attack one. The same is true of humans, more so infact. Pet dogs maul more babies and toddlers in a month than foxes have in the last 5-10 years. Judging by this, should we not call for a mass killing of family pets? My budgie has bitten me and drawn blood before. Why not cull all the teenage hooligans who like to go out on the streets and stab the first person who so much as looks in their direction? How about a ban on cancer?

This was nothing more than a freak accident. This fox did not go into the house with the sole intention of snacking on some toddlers. An urban fox is constantly at risk. They will take any opportunity they can if they think it will provide them with food. The animal found the back door open and simply wandered inside. If you found a fiver on the street, would you pick it up? Of course you would, and don't try and claim otherwise.

When the fox got into the room it most probably felt trapped and panicked. Animals have an instinct called 'Fight or Flight'. In this instance, the fox found itself in an enclosed space with two humans. Much like a dolphin or whale that has swum into a harbour can not always find the harbour entrance to get out again, this fox could not find a way out, felt cornered and lashed out; the 'fight' mechanism. It viewed the children as a threat, and attacked them when it thought it was trapped.

There are a great many reasons why this alleged fox may have attacked two small children in their own home, but it does not mean that the entire fox population of Britain are bloodthirsty killers out to get us.

RJ Wallace.

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