Sunday, 4 July 2010

Rampant, evil, mutant baby killing foxes at large? Really?

Ok, here’s one for you. Foxes: vermin or furry cuties?

Now I’m no socially awkward inbred with a penchant for taking out small beasts with a dusty ancestor’s rifle in order to justify my lofty position in the food chain. But neither am I a tree-hugging hippy with a deep, heartfelt love for every creature in the land, so please don’t think that cute furriness is clouding my judgement.

The recent reports of a fox attacking twin baby girls in their own home has sparked a massive public reaction that is rapidly reaching heights that are becoming comical. I live in a fairly rural area and I regularly see foxes sneaking across the roads at night, so at first I agreed that the alarm should be raised to the possibility that one of these creatures could sneak into your house at night and cause damage or attack small children. It was sensible to flag it up in the public arena (although quite a few folk, including myself to some extent, thought that the attack story stank for some completely fox-unrelated reason that we couldn't quite put our collective fingers on...but that’s another matter…). And that’s when the media started to take it way too far with an onslaught of TV documentaries and newspaper articles on ‘the evil, killer fox’, urging us all to lock and bolt every door and window and buy a huge rifle to protect ourselves and our families. It’s all started to get a bit hysterical and silly and smacks of an en vogue witch hunt; something cool and topical for middle class mums to fluster and fret about at the school gates. And some of this stuff is absolutely priceless comedy gold. Take, for example, this article in the Sunday Times:

‘It seems to embody one’s darkest fear about dwelling in a city: that living among us, silent, watching and waiting for a lapse in our attention is a malignant, amoral force.’

Aaahahahahah! Really? Come on, people, honestly. Pull yourselves together. Yes, we need to aware of the dangers of wild animals living amongst us, but there are bigger evils in this world...get some perspective! And how many children each year are killed or violently mauled by family dogs? But are we calling for Fido to be hunted down and slaughtered on the chance that he might turn bad? No, but I’d like to see the media try to pull that one off...

It was this comment in the aforementioned article that finally changed my opinion on the subject and made me realise how ridiculous this witch/fox hunt had become, especially when written with, what appears to be, genuine seriousness and sobriety:

‘The comedy duo The Mighty Boosh had it about right with their evil, disheveled junkie character the Crack Fox.’

Yeah…and I bet they all have banjos too…


  1. What amuses me about the whole thing is the fact that the same people who waxed lyrical about the plight of the "poor harmless" fox during the Fox Hunting debates are the same ones getting hysterical about the menace of the now maligned "killer" urban foxes. What we seem to have are two diametric breeds of fox: Cute and cuddly "country" foxes and fiercely savage "urban" foxes. Perhaps they should reintroduce hunting with hounds, this time in the suburbs. Using mopeds and motorbikes instead of horses. Burning torches and pitch forks optional.

  2. :D My point exactly! Maybe ‘country foxes’ are well adjusted, gentile, fresh air and clean living loving creatures, whereas ‘urban foxes’ are exposed to gun crime, hard drugs and anti-social behaviour?
    In view of similar hysterias with respect to poisonous toys, child eating pushchairs, evil food additives, the horrors of the Internet and killer treadmills (!), I suppose that it was only a matter of time before the nanny culture shifted its attention to wildlife.