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The fox: a smart survivor
Hardly any other forest dweller has such a bad reputation as the fox. It is considered a chicken thief, a carrier of diseases and pests, and can be hunted by us humans almost without a closed season. Does the intelligent Vulpes deserve this?
Foxes are incredibly adaptable and are, therefore, one of the most successful mammals in the entire animal kingdom.
Even in animal fables of antiquity, the fox appears as a cunning rogue who is only concerned with his advantage. Also, in the literature of the Middle Ages and the fairy tales of the 18th and 19th century Master Reineke does not fare any better.
Fox Coloring Pages Collection
Check out the collection of fox coloring pages below.
Fur as a trophy
For centuries, the fox was chased on horseback during hunts, driven out of its den with sharp dogs, or tortured to death with fox irons.
Even today, hunters still use traps, rifles, and shotguns for hunting the fox. In the meantime, however, only traps that kill the fox immediately or catch it unharmed are allowed.
Its beautiful fur and bushy tail are still considered a popular trophy.
Important health policeman
Most people consider the fox – similar to the wolf – to be an annoying pest. Yet it is quite a useful wild animal in the cycle of nature.
As a health policeman, he removes dead animals from the roadside and helps to prevent dangerous diseases from spreading further.
His preferred prey, mice, which the red hunter kills in an elegant leap and grabs with his teeth in a flash. Luck for us humans: Without the fox, these voracious rodents would quickly become a plague.
Why is the fox still a thorn in the side of hunters who call it a “predator”? Perhaps because the smart survivor has always been able to adapt successfully.
And because he is not satisfied with mice, insects, and berries, but also hunts hares and young deer. And the hunter also likes to have them in front of his shotgun.
Due to its high adaptability, the fox is considered one of the most successful mammals in the entire animal kingdom.
See also : Butterfly coloring pages collection
City foxes on the prowl
Although the fox prefers to roam lonely areas in the forest, in recent years, it has moved closer and closer to our habitat.
Like its kinds – deer, hare, and wild boar – it is now also found in gardens and parks. On rubbish tips, where there is plenty of food, he can also be found. One even speaks of the “city fox” in distinction to the “country fox.”
“Fox, you stole the goose…”
Especially when food is scarce, or during the rearing of young, the fox also helps itself in chicken or rabbit houses.
I’m sure you know the nursery rhyme, “Fox, you stole the goose…” But sometimes the fox is wrongly suspected. Because just as often, martens and polecats attack farms.
The sense organs of the fox, which sleeps the day away in its den, are perfectly adapted to life and hunting in the dark.
As a member of the canine family, for example, it can smell 400 times better than humans and has rotatable ears with which it can pinpoint sounds very precisely. The eyes, which form a narrow slit in daylight and are oval at night, resemble those of the cat.
Over the year, the fox is a loner. Only in January and February, during the Ranzzeit, it is on partner search. After about 50 days, the fox, also known as a female fox, gives birth to three to five young.
Male foxes, the males, participate in the rearing process by bringing food to the burrow. When they reach sexual maturity, at about ten months, the young foxes look for their territory.
The primary carrier of rabies
The fox is still feared as the primary carrier of rabies, a viral infection that is almost always fatal for humans and animals.
If a fox has rabies, it becomes aggressive and bites more and more. People are less at risk of being bitten directly by the fox. Victims are mostly cats and dogs, which then spread the virus further.
Oral fox vaccination
However, the mass shooting of foxes has not proved successful in eradicating rabies. On the contrary: its population has recovered again and again, and thus the virus has been spread over a large area by more and more infected fox offspring.
Nowadays, so-called vaccination baits are used instead to protect the fox against this insidious infection. These are pieces of meat that are provided with an oral vaccine.
This makes the fox immune to rabies, i.e., insensitive, and prevents it from passing the disease on to its offspring.