Yesterday's news reported about nine-month-old twins, Isabella and Lola Koupparis, who were attacked by a fox as they were asleep in their cots. It seems that everyone has now gone crazy responding to this story - so yes! I am also going to put my opinion out there too as its something that feels close to home for me.
I grew up in the north west of England - just half an hour away from Lake Windermere so I'm more than aware of the countryside, the first time I saw a fox was in the woods. It was beautiful - absolutely glossy reddy brown with pure white patches, exactly as a fox should be, it was very shy and timmid and ran away!
When I moved to London, and saw my first urban fox - I had to do a double take! I didn't recognise it as a fox at first - it was dirty, manky, scrawny and smelly and had no fear of being near me! I will never forget the first time I heard a fox in the night - it was the most horrific and terrifying thing I think I've ever heard - It sounded like someone was being murdered, if I someone else in my student flat hadn't told me what the hell it was, I would have called the police!
My point is, there is a huuuuggggeee difference in countryside foxes and inner city ones, and back to why I feel so strongly about this is that I've had a few nasty encounters with foxes, I've been growled at and circled by one and only a few weeks ago, I saved my neighbours cat from being attacked in broad daylight!
Of all the comments to yesterday's news, I've bearly read a kind word towards the family who were the victims of this attack - I do hope the twins are ok, the news this morning reported that one of the girls isn't doing well at all and had to be transfered to "gosh" - to the people more concerned about the foxes - shame on you! And to the article I read that reported the "alleged fox attack" - This fox went in through the back door of someone's home - either through or close to the kitchen so clearly not looking for food scraps and climbed if not one but two flights of stairs (the family live in a 3 storey home) and sought out the nursery, not only did it attack one baby, but two babies - in separate cots! The mum saw her babies covered in blood and a fox in the room - so "allegedly" journalist - please do tell that poor mum why you think its an alleged attack!
Even more disturbing are the comments form wildlife associations (who of course, value the lives of creatures over humans) claiming that this is isolated - So just to clarify - this fox attacked not one isolated incident of one baby but two babies in separate cots, and just to make it clear - THIS IS NOT THE FIRST FOX ATTACK ON A CHILD!!!!
I'm sure my fellow Bromley mums will recall a fox attacked a girl aged nine in Sidcup, a few years ago. The horrified girl woke to find the fox biting her several times on her feet.
Just down the road from us in Dartford, 14 week old Louis Day who was attcked and bitten on the head by a fox in his own home.
Jessica Brown, aged 4 was bitten on her arm by a fox in her bedroom in North London.
Not just children either, Margaret O’Shaughnessy, 88 was attacked by a fox in Edinbrugh
So that's 5 children and one adult just in my little blog post.
I'm not trying to scare monger and I don't think the hunting ban should be lifted - after all its not like a traditional hunt is going to go through a dense south east london area and sort the problem out!
But what has annoyed me is the lack of support I've read for the families in comparison for the people defending the foxes. (and I'm a vegetarian!)
Each and every one of these attacks is on the hands of the morons who feed, encourage and allow these wild animals into their homes, not only is it irresponsible towards the welfare of these creatures but its also irresponsible for the safety of your fellow human beings - who's lives should be more valued than that of these nuisence urban foxes. These are wild animals for goodness sake - stop encouraging them to sit on your bloody sofas and feed from your hands!!! - it's your fault these babies have been attacked.
I'm fed up with reading the wildlife people claiming that this is the first attack that they have heard of - what? did you not hear about the few others I've mentioned?
How many babies need to be attacked before people accept that there is a problem developing - I personally think one attack is one to many.
I also want to point out that not one of these attacks happened because the people accidently wondered into a fox den - not even did any of them happen because the people disturbed the foxes scavenging for food - the majority happened in their bedrooms where the fox had wondered through or past food areas - so its got nothing to do with food!
I don't think we need to be petrified of foxes, cull them all or any such nonsense but I do think we need to stop brushing each attack under the carpet and claiming its the first - it's not.
Emma in Bromley