As a London-based serial pet owner (ancient cat died, guinea pigs massacred by foxes but not eaten, goldfish transferred to a friend’s huge tank to live out their retirement, stick insects stuck at for three years… I could go on…) I can’t be accused of not liking animals. I do. To the extent that we’re in search of a kitten (with fingers crossed that it doesn’t become another lamppost sob story, no doubt lost to a night-prowling fox!).
What irks me about the London fox situation is that our local council seems to turn a blind eye (or ear) to them, allowing them to take over our streets, yelping, screaming, waking us up in the night with their cries, clambering over bins, upturning them, strewing domestic detritus far and wide, killing children’s pets, strutting their mangy, disease-ridden bodies in brazen disregard for pets, property and pavements, many of which are littered with fox faeces.
I am more than happy to live in harmony with wildlife – nothing pleases me more than the fact that we live near a few commons, so can enjoy plenty of birdlife and animals. But the London fox population is too large. Nothing is controlling it – ironically if we lived in the country it would be a lesser problem as foxes roam a much larger area. And that is the issue. Being woken up night after night by bloodcurdling screams is no fun – and with the fox population inevitably on the up, I can’t see where it will end.