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Woodcroft Wildspace

Woodcroft

London     

N21 3QP

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THE FOX

THE COMMON RED FOX (Vulpes vulpes) is a carnivorous mammal of the dog family. It has short legs and long, thick reddish-coloured fur. The face is triangualr and the tail is long and very bushy.

Foxes sleep concealed in grasses or thickets, their tails curled around them for warmth. In the breeding season a pair will establish a den, often in a ground burrow made by another animal. The young are raised in the den by the female (vixen) while the male (dog) hunts for food for the family. The cubs leave the nest after about five months. Foxes do not pair for life, they are likely to find a new mate each season.

Foxes eat insects, earthworms, eggs, small birds, small mammals, and vegetable matter. Fruits are a favourite. Foxes will also eat carrion. Unlike other members of the dog family, which run down their prey, foxes usually hunt by stalking and pouncing. Although farmers complain that foxes raid their poultry, the fox is beneficial to the farmer as it keeps the rodent population under control.

Hunting the fox with hounds has been a traditional method of population control for hundreds of years in Britian. It is now recognised to be a cruel blood sport and has been banned in the UK since 2005.

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