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In London, Foxes Are Breaking Into Houses and Napping On People’s Couches

Imagine coming home to your apartment and finding a fox lounging on your sofa. In London, that’s become a surprising reality.

While other cities battle problems with rats and raccoons, London is green and leafy enough to sustain a population of thousands of red foxes. And according to a recent report from Time Out, they seem to be getting bolder these last few years.

One woman spoke to the outlet about her experience. She said she woke up in the middle of the night to something touching her hand. When she turned on the lights, a furry red flash shot out from underneath her bed. Turns out she’d left her back door open, and a fox snuck in and made itself at home.

Elsewhere in the city, a London resident arrived home one evening to find a fox hanging out on her couch.

“We tried to scare it out by banging pots and pans. We had a trail of sausages leading to an open window,” the woman told Time Out. “Nothing worked.”

Last fall, other local news organizations wrote about a fox repeatedly breaking into a family’s kitchen. Other Londoners have found foxes in their hallways, living rooms, and even on their beds. 

@holly.siobhan

Foxes in london be getting way too comfortable #fox #london #londonfoxes

♬ BILLIE EILISH. – Armani White

This boldness could be partially due to the pandemic, some experts guess. During lockdown, people started spending more time at home and in their backyards. It’s possible that foxes got more acclimated to humans during that time. The animals may have lost their fear of getting too close.

Even before the recent uptick in break-ins, Londoners had a love-hate relationship with foxes. Some think they’re adorable. Others find them an absolute nuisance.

An organization called The Fox Project works to rehabilitate the city’s injured foxes (many are killed or injured in traffic accidents). The group also organizes volunteer “fox fosterers.” The fosterers build enclosures in their gardens to look after cubs or injured adults while they recover.

If you have a visit to London coming up soon, keep an eye out for flashes of red. Kits are usually born in March and start making their way around the city in April.

mage by Andrei Sitnikov/Getty
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