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After a Fox Attacks Baby, Should We Kill All Foxes?

After a Fox Attacks Baby, Should We Kill All Foxes?

Would you vote for a fox cull if a baby was severely attacked in its home while taking a nap?

A fox cull is being debated in London after one of the animals entered an open back door in a family’s home and attacked a four week-old baby boy earlier this month. Officials estimate there are 10,000 free roaming foxes in London and another 33,000 living in other urban areas across Britain.

Foxes are routinely seen in London running through parks and rummaging through trash. Some view the animals as harmless and fun to watch, while others call them a menace and want them removed. Attacks on humans are rare, but as the animals spend more time in the human world they appear to be losing their fear of people. This has some folks worried the animals are becoming more aggressive, especially toward young children.

On February 6, four week-old Denny Dolan was napping in his home when a fox came into his room through an open back door. The animal had dragged the baby from his bed to the floor by the time his mother rushed into the room after hearing his screams. She found Denny’s hand in the fox’s mouth and had to kick the animal until it released her child. Denny’s finger was severed, but was later reattached at the hospital and the baby suffered facial wounds.

The attack has put London residents at odds with each other over the fox situation. London Mayor Boris Johnson supports a cull. “This sort of attack, though terrible, is rare, but we must do more to tackle the growing problem of urban foxes,” said Johnson.

Johnson reminded the public of another attack in 2010 on two baby sisters who were mauled in their home while they were sleeping. Both needed surgery and were left with scars. The little girls also had to endure rabies treatment.

Others call the cull a “knee-jerk” reaction to a tragedy.

Richard Moseley, from the British Pest Control Association thinks the public is split down the middle about whether or not to kill the foxes. “If you ask the public there is probably a 50/50 split between those who love them and those who want them eradicated,” said Moseley.

He thinks people have contributed to making the foxes lose their fear of humans by feeding them and encouraging the animals to come close to their properties. “They are becoming tamer and people do have to remember that at the end of the day they are still a wild animal,” said Moseley.

Moseley believes the animals and residents can share the space where they live if they make a few changes and so does the RSPCA. Their spokesperson said that it is not typical fox behavior to enter a house and that the animal probably smelled a food source inside. She encouraged people to keep their “gardens clear and the streets free of litter.”

Similar debates are going on in other parts of the world as humans and wildlife infringe on each other’s space for a variety of reasons. Are the answers as easy as the RSPCA suggests, that people simply close their doors, lock away food and pick up their trash? Or is this a larger problem that is only beginning to brew?

Take Action: Tell London we don’t need to kill all foxes in retaliation.

 

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893 comments

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2:41AM PDT on Apr 18, 2013

ABSOLUTLY AGREE WITH MIKE K,THANK YOU

5:26AM PDT on Apr 9, 2013

Is this logical to kill all just because of one or scattered case?

1:05AM PDT on Apr 9, 2013

We must then, of course, do not kill animals just because people make mistakes. It's completely crazy to think you can feed wild animals and believe that they keep distance from people. They have even learned the animals where they can get their food in an easy way. People must learn to make room for anything other than their own pets, nature and wild animals should and must have the right to live their own lives. What happened to the baby's sad and should not happen, but it is a human error, learn, however damn to understand that we must make room for others than ourselves.

1:05AM PDT on Apr 9, 2013

We must then, of course, do not kill animals just because people make mistakes. It's completely crazy to think you can feed wild animals and believe that they keep distance from people. They have even learned the animals where they can get their food in an easy way. People must learn to make room for anything other than their own pets, nature and wild animals should and must have the right to live their own lives. What happened to the baby's sad and should not happen, but it is a human error, learn, however damn to understand that we must make room for others than ourselves.

1:05AM PDT on Apr 9, 2013

We must then, of course, do not kill animals just because people make mistakes. It's completely crazy to think you can feed wild animals and believe that they keep distance from people. They have even learned the animals where they can get their food in an easy way. People must learn to make room for anything other than their own pets, nature and wild animals should and must have the right to live their own lives. What happened to the baby's sad and should not happen, but it is a human error, learn, however damn to understand that we must make room for others than ourselves.

8:49AM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

signed, thanks for sharing

5:50AM PDT on Mar 31, 2013

"Aggressive carnivore wildlife" lol. Foxes are scared of their own shadow, having to creep about and scavenge food because people keep driving them out of their OWN habitat. Humans multiply like a virus, then extinguish everything that happens to be in OUR way. Humans are the most dangerous species on the planet, selfish, greedy, intentionally violent and speciesist in the extreme. Studies have shown that human babies can be mistaken for prey because of the smell they emit and of course everyone knows humans taste like chicken. We are after all - just meat. So "A fox attacks a baby, should we kill all foxes?" Well let me think about that for a nano second... An adult attacks a baby, should we kill all adults? A movie star attacks a journalist, should we kill all movie stars? A journalist attacks a celebrity (metaphorically speaking), should we kill all journalists? Quite surprised (insert disappointed) in Care 2 for phraseology of this ilk?! P.s. What is with this anthropocentric preoccupation with the importance or reverence for a human baby over another species. Why revere one and drink the milk intended for or eat - the baby of another? If we are, as some (deluded individuals) might like to think, the 'apex' predator, then with great power should come great compassion. And if we are not, then we should learn to co-exist and harm none.

9:41AM PDT on Mar 23, 2013

Sadly yet again - I have to emphasise in London we have wide open spaces (I live within walking distance of Epping FOREST and Wanstead Flats both 1000s or 10000s of acres) We have had foxes endemic in those open spaces for CENTURIES repeat centuries without problems - They fed on rabbits hares mice and rats and other small mammals also endemic to the open spaces
The trouble is NOT with the foxes but idiot humans who have - in recent years - dropped Tons of food on the floor from fast food cafes so increasing the feeding opportunities - Fast food is a recent invention exacerbated by the lack of responsible behaviour - absolutely NOTHING to do with "aggressive" foxes - Far Far too many people irresponsibly leave food out for them so they are attracted to back doors. I have THREE foxes living in my back yard for about ten years - they are not fed - and no trouble at all. I have three very fast very large dogs who ignore them. I have far far more trouble with CATS who invade my garden to kill birds and defecate - Yet I'm not allowed to cull these wild animals (Here cats are classed as wild) Yet an obsession by some to eradicate harmless foxes.

9:11AM PDT on Mar 23, 2013

what in the hell happened, it seems like my computer has gone wacky, or maybe its me,sorrey for all of the same comments.

9:08AM PDT on Mar 23, 2013

absolutely not, humans are the problem the animals simply are getting run out of there habitat, I feel more for the fox in this case.

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