Black Foxes UK

Foxes in the news

2019

Rare albino fox spotted lurking around London car park - Metro, June 2019

"The pale creature was filmed darting between cars near a housing estate in Angel, north London. Resident Chimanski Pereira, 42, said he was amazed to find the animal lurking outside his window and initially thought it was a dog. He said: ‘I could see a few normal foxes running around and then I saw what I thought was sure was a dog.

I thought it was funny that a dog was playing with some foxes and that’s when I realised.’ ‘I was amazed – it’s not something you see every day. ‘I’ve read stories about albino foxes before so I knew instantly how special they are."

*These foxes are native red foxes that are displaying a rare and temporary form of leucism caused by a condition known as "fever coat", which occurs as a result of extreme stress or illness in a pregnant vixen. Cubs born with this condition will usually develop their  full colour by their first full moult. 

Final missing Colchester black fox found dead on A12 - East Anglian Daily Times, April 2019

"The last of three rare breed foxes from Colchester that went missing has been found dead on the side of the A12. Owner Richard Ashton, from Ipswich, confirmed the death this morning following a tip-off on a Facebook group made to help locate the animal. The fox was said to be limping when spotted on Sunday, although the cause of the injury and death remains unknown...

The other two foxes, who are partners, were found on Friday and Saturday, with the first being found in the garden of Fairview Hospital and the other caught in Mill Road Surgery's car park... The foxes are said to be in good health, although the friend has been left with a heavily bandaged hand"

*The cause of death was a road traffic accident. Sadly, captive bred animals have no road awareness. Foxes are most often active at night, but their dark coats and poor road sense mean they are at a very high risk of injury as a result. It is why we work so hard to get missing silver foxes located and to safety as soon as possible. 

Black foxes escape in 'suspected break-in' in Colchester - BBC, April 2019

"Three rare black foxes escaped in a suspected break-in at a temporary enclosure in Essex... The animals are a type of North American red fox with a trait that makes their fur silvery-black... They were being kept overnight at Mr Aston's parents' home where a hole was found at the back of their outdoor enclosure. Mr Aston, a 33-year-old rare animal expert, said people should not approach the foxes which were captive-bred and he was "extremely concerned" for their welfare... "They're also not road savvy at all, they have no fear of it whatsoever."

Black Foxes UK said: "Around 0.1% of foxes in the UK are melanistic (black) by our records. These escaped foxes are not a native species... Mr Aston added he had contacted Essex Police and the RSPCA about the foxes"

White Fox and Serval Wild Cat Arrive at Rescue Center near Boston from Belgium - Boston Standard, March 2019

"It comes less then a week after the Ark Wildlife Park and Animal Rescue Sanctuary, in Stickney, took in a silver fox, which had been taken to a local vets over concerns it could not be tamed. The white fox and serval, a type of wild cat native to Africa, arrived on Wednesday morning from Belgium’s Natuurhulpcentrum (Nature Health Centre)....

Michelle Mintram, resident fox expert and co-owner of the ARK, said: “The female white fox is a leucistic fox that was being passed off as a dog by her original owners. Leucism is a condition in which there is a partial loss of pigmentation in an animal. Unlike albinism, it is caused by a reduction in multiple types of pigment, not just melanin. Leucistic animals do not have red eyes; in fact, this stunning girl has the most incredible pale blue eyes that I have ever seen. Her arrival, along with Tembea, has been planned for several months and she is currently housed in our quarantine area. Her name is yet to be decided"

I Photographed Foxes In My Studio And Fell In Love With Their Characters - Bored Panda, February 2019

"As a pet photographer, my normal client is a dog or cat. Never would I expect to photograph Foxes! Pet foxes are not a normal thing in the UK so this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and it was hard to resist putting fox cuddles before taking the photographs.

I got lucky to work with Joy’s Pets, based in Gloucestershire, UK. Amongst your more exotic animals like reptiles, owls and hedgehogs they now house a small family of foxes. Of course, I took up the challenge of shooting these beautiful but wild creatures and I was so thrilled with the result of the images. I met two of their foxes and we covered two shoots over a year. Both foxes live outdoors whilst interacting with humans and their owners so they are mostly domesticated but I was headed into uncharted water with this shoot, I had no idea what to expect from them...

Working with wild animals is always a challenge and none more than introducing them to a foreign, confined space. Even though brought up as pets, these foxes will always retain wild habits and you can only predict, to a certain level, what any animal will do. Whether it’s domesticated or wild, every animal deserves patience, space and respect when being photographed"

Foxes were Domesticated by Humans in the Bronze Age - Eurek Alert, February 2019

"In the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, between the third and second millennium BC, a widespread funeral practice consisted in burying humans with animals. Scientists have discovered that both foxes and dogs were domesticated, as their diet was similar to that of their owners.

The discovery of four foxes and a large number of dogs at the Can Roqueta (Barcelona) and Minferri (Lleida) sites stands out among the many examples of tombs in different parts of the north-eastern peninsula. These burials reveal a generalized funeral practice that proliferated in the Early to Middle Bronze Age: that of burying humans together with domestic animals"

Can you Help Dexter? Animal Rescue Center near Boston takes in Silver Fox and Launches Appeal - Boston Standard, January 2019

"An animal rescue centre near Boston is appealing for help in providing a new enclosure and ongoing care for its latest resident – a stunning silver fox who keepers have named Dexter. Dexter was rescued by the ARK Wildlife Park and Animal Rescue Sanctuary, in Stickney, yesterday (Thursday, January 17) following a call from a local veterinary clinic.

A member of the public had taken the fox in to the clinic and requested that he be put to sleep, finding him too aggressive to be tamed. The vets declined and convinced the owner to sign Dexter over into their care. They then went about finding the animal a long-term home, approaching the ARK Wildlife Park and Animal Rescue Sanctuary. The centre already houses rescued foxes and has lots of experience with such animals and other exotic species. The ARK agreed to take him in and he was delivered to them later on Thursday evening"

2018

Natural history museum's wildlife photographer of the year - The Telegraph, December 2018

"Tin was fortunate enough to be told about a fox den in Washington state, North America, which was home to a family of red, black and silver foxes. After days of waiting for good weather he was finally rewarded with this touching moment"

Rare black fox spotted on Tarleton road - Lancashire Post, December 2018

"A rare black fox has been spotted wandering the streets of Tarleton. The fox was caught on camera by a local farmer at the junction of Middle Meanygate and Taylors Meanygate, between Banks and Tarleton on Wednesday. Black foxes have been hunted almost to extinction in the UK for their unusual fur - however, there has been an increase in the number of reported sightings in the past few years, according to wildlife volunteer group Black Foxes UK"

Pet silver fox found after Bonfire Night 'he escaped or was dumped by owners' - Lancashire Post, December 2018

"A legendary silver fox has been found lurking in a suburban garden to avoid the loud explosions of fireworks celebrations. The beautiful creature with its striking smoky-grey coat and dazzling white tail is feared to have either escaped from its owners or been deliberately dumped.

Silver foxes were once one of the most prized of all wild creatures, their luxuriant coats the reserve of kings, tsars and nobles across Europe. During the Soviet period they were farmed in huge numbers and are still reared and slaughtered in parts of the world for the fur industry... The animal welfare charity is now looking after the fox, which has been nicknamed Shadow, at its Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Nantwich"

Caged animals resort to cannibalism on "high welfare" fur farms linked to Britain's most upmarket brands and sellers - The Independent, November 2018

"Mink, Foxes and raccoon dogs have been filmed resorting to cannibalism and suffering painful wounds at a “heartbreaking” fur farm endorsed by a supplier linked with some of Britain’s most expensive luxury brands and sellers.

Investigators say they found “deplorable conditions and distressing animal suffering” at two centres in Finland certified by fur industry chiefs as “high welfare”. They revealed their findings to pressure UK government ministers to ban imports and sales of real fur to close a legal loophole"

Los Angeles fur ban: Where else in the world is fox, mink and sable prohibited? - The Independent, September 2018

"Los Angeles City Council has voted unanimously to ban the sale of fur clothing. The city's attorney will now draft legislation outlining the prohibition of fox, mink, sable and chinchilla coats and stoles, making LA the largest city in the world to take such steps, following San Francisco's decision to do likewise in March this year and West Hollywood in 2013. “If we can do it here, we can do it anywhere,” said councillor Paul Koretz, who sponsored the animal rights initiative. “We hope that New York City and Chicago and Miami are all watching.”

Given the City of Angels’ reputation as an influential fashion mecca, activists are optimistic other major regional centres will follow its example and outlaw a practice they consider deeply inhumane. Britain banned fur farming in 2000 and EU law prohibits the sale of fur products derived from cats, dogs and seals. The import of fox and rabbit furs is still legal, however, and organisations like Fur Free Britain have appealed to MPs to change the law"

The first detailed map of red foxes’ DNA may reveal domestication secrets - Science News, August 2018

"For nearly 60 years, scientists in Siberia have bred silver foxes in an attempt to replay how domestication occurred thousands of years ago. Now, in a first, researchers have compiled the genetic instruction book, or genome, of Vulpes vulpes, the red fox species that includes the silver-coated variant. This long-awaited study of the foxes’ DNA may reveal genetic changes that drove domestication of animals such as cats and dogs, the team reports online August 6 in Nature Ecology & Evolution...

Rif, the male silver fox whose DNA serves as the example, or reference, genome for all members of the species, was the son of an aggressive vixen and a tame male. Geneticist Anna Kukekova of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and colleagues also conducted less-detailed examinations of 30 foxes’ DNA: 10 foxes each from the tame and aggressive groups and 10 animals from a “conventional” group that hadn’t been bred for either friendliness or aggression... Those genomes are an invaluable resource for researchers studying domestication, behavioral and population genetics and even human disorders such as autism and mental illness, says Ben Sacks, a canid evolutionary geneticist at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. “It makes all kinds of research possible that weren’t before,” he says"

On the hunt in Oregon for a rare fox: Biologists are finding greater numbers in Oregon of Sierra Nevada red fox - The Siberian Times, February 2018

"In a dense forest at the base of Mount Bachelor, two wildlife biologists slowly walked toward a small cage trap they hoped would contain a rare red fox species. Jamie Bowles, an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife technician in Bend, and Tim Hiller, founder of the Montana-based Wildlife Ecology Institute, stepped carefully as branches crunched under their feet.

For the past year, the state wildlife agency and Hiller’s organization have worked together to trap and place radio collars on Sierra Nevada red foxes, a rarely seen subspecies recently discovered roaming in the Oregon Cascades. Officials have no idea how many live in Oregon, and fewer than 100 live in Northern California. On the sunny Friday morning in June, the trap was empty, as were two other traps the biologists set near Mount Bachelor.

“This is a typical day for us,” Bowles said. “Not having anything in the traps.” But the past year has been a success for their efforts to study the Sierra Nevada red fox, which they began researching in 2012. When a fox was trapped and given a radio collar in May 2017, it was hailed as a first for Oregon wildlife biologists, who suspected the small mammals were here, but had little proof"

Admiring black, bright amber and burgundy colours of an exotic looking fox - The Siberian Times, February 2018

"Kamchatka reserve rangers say they haven’t seen such animal in decades. A female fox with a dark-coloured belly, back and tail has been noticed at the Kronotsky Nature Reserve in Kamchatka... Seeing this kind of fox is an incredibly rare. Zoologist Alexander Nikanorov who has been working with Kamchatka foxes for several decades have only seen such foxes twice before.

"Kamchatka peninsula doesn’t really have foxes with colour mutations. Typical for us is the Anadyr, or Red fox, which comes in a vivid ginger colour. Locals call it Fire fox because of the bright-colored fur. We haven't seen the Silver fox for several decades, or the Cross type fox, which is the result of Red and Silver foxes mating", explained Nikanorov.  "This particular fox with the black belly is the next step, a transitional colour mutation phase from the Cross type fox to Silver fox."

Fox Hunting: Fox owner discusses the misconception surrounding hunting - SW Londoner, January 2018

"A gamekeeper and owner of a domesticated fox admits he supports fox shooting as a form of pest control. Freddie Samuel, from Surrey, looks after pet fox Benjamin, but his job requires him to shoot other foxes that cause havoc on farms around the area. Gamekeepers were originally meant as policemen of the countryside, providing shooting for the rich and famous.

Freddie, 24, said: “I am a gamekeeper and farmer so yes, I am for shooting foxes. “My view is that everything has to be controlled and if there is no control then disease and interbreeding will overcome the fox population.... Mr Samuel uses high calibre rifles or traps which are designed to hold and not kill. “I am not into trophy hunting and not into mass killing for no reason what so ever. “I’m not someone who goes out for the fun of it, I’m someone who goes out for the practicality of the job

Norway set to become first Nordic country to ban fur farming - The Telegraph, January 2018

"Norway is set to become the first Nordic country to ban fur industries, as it plans to close all fox and mink farms by 2025. The pledge was made by Norway's Conservative Prime Minister, Erna Solberg, after partners in the country's new three-part coalition government discussed the terms of their collaboration last week.

Norway's Liberal Party, which is the new and smallest party in the coalition, has been credited for pushing the initiative. Norway is now the 14th European country to phase out fur farming. The move was welcomed by animal protection charities. “This is a fantastic victory for the fight to stop the fur industry in Europe,” said Thorbjørn Schiønning, the campaigns manager "

'Faux fur' products made of real fur, it emerges as Boots pulls accessories from shelves - The Telegraph, January 2018

"Boots has recalled 'faux fur' hairpins from shelves, after it was found they were actually made of real fur. Shoppers who are conscious of animal rights and the problems with the fur trade often buy faux fur, made of synthetic fibres, instead of the real thing.

They may be shocked to discover that retailers across the high street use suppliers which have mislabeled faux fur — and are actually selling real fur obtained in unknown and possibly cruel conditions. Savvy shopper Ruby Miranda could smell a rat when she felt the fur on the Scunchi hairpins sold by Boots and labelled as faux fur"

Two Adorable 8-month old foxes were rescued from a fur farm play in a huge pile of leaves at rescue center - The Daily Mail, January 2018

"These cute foxes were leaping through a pile of fallen leaves in a fun game with their rescuers. After being rejected from a fur farm, eight-month-old Rowyn and Thystle were taken to a rescue centre in Minnesota. Following their depressing start to life, they can now have a lot more fun, as this video, shot in December, shows.

Two sanctuary workers capture the cubs' attention by rustling a hand under a pile of leaves. The intrigued foxes' instincts kick in, and they leap head first into the leaves as if hunting a small rodent. The video was taken by Mikayla Raines from Saveafox Rescue in Lakeville, Minnesota"

2017

Florida couple bought a pet fox for $600 and now let it sleep in their bed at night and roam freely around the house like 'a cat on drugs' - The Daily Mail, December 2017

"A Florida couple have a pet fox which they let sleep in their bed at night and sit on the front seat during car journeys. Brandon Race, 32, and Jessi Ladd, 24, take Swyper out for walks in Palm Beach on a 30-foot leash and have taught her to follow commands such as sit and lie down. They feed the nine-month-old... red fox with puppy food or their own leftovers, while chicken hearts, beef, eggs and Quorn are reserved as special treats.

The couple bought the fox in May this year from a breeder in Indiana. Swyper's parents were freed from a fur farm when it closed, and gave birth to her shortly after. After moving to Florida, Swyper was hand-reared on soft fruits, vegetables and pet food. Mr Race said she has ‘free roam’ of their 900-square-foot house and is very friendly with several of the couple’s friends who come to visit"

*Swyper is a farm fox and not a Russian experimental animal as suggested in the report. Black Foxes UK is also sad to report that shortly after this article was published, Swyper suffered a nasty leg injury that has left her fighting for her life. 

A senior MP has vowed to put pressure on the Government to bring in a fur imports ban while calling for an inquiry into mislabelled fur. Neil Parish, the chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, told Sky News it was an issue the Government needed to look at quickly.

He said: "Due to your Sky investigation, we will now very much put pressure on the Government to bring in a ban. "I'm also going to talk to the Secretary of State Michael Gove for DEFRA, who is extremely keen on animal welfare and within the select committee of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which I chair. "I would use the fact that Sky have had this investigation to look at a way we could have an inquiry into the issue as well.""

Defenceless fox is seen writhing in pain before making a desperate bid for freedom in shocking undercover footage of Polish fur farm - The Daily Mail, October 2017

"Shocking undercover footage from a Polish fur farm captures the desperate final moments of an Arctic fox as it makes a final bid for freedom. Animal protection charity Animal Defenders International set up a series of hidden cameras to capture the harrowing goings-on at the farm in Kościan County.

Each year, some 110 million animals are killed on fur farms where the their living quarters often comprise small, bare, mesh cages. Over 15 million foxes are killed in a year - usually for trinkets, trims and accessories - but up to 35 foxes can be required to make a fur coat"

Mother keeps 'domesticated' fox as a pet and lets it play with her two young children – even though it has a habit of biting strangers - The Daily Mail, September 2017

"A mother-of-two has hand-reared a fox cub and lets it play with her young children - despite the animal having a tendency to nip strangers. Natalie Reynolds, 35, keeps Jasper the fox in the garden of her Hertfordshire home alongside her three dogs, cat and horses. She says the animal gets on well with her daughter, Marissa, five, and three-year-old son, Chace, and they even take him for walks"

*This is a "tame" fox - a wild rescue, not a captive bred "domesticated" fox. 

Outfoxed - UK’s rarest animal the black fox is filmed trying to jump in the back of a van – before cub is revealed as a pet called Wilf who keeps running away - The Sun, September 2017

"Shocked Sam Houghton couldn't believe his eyes when the unusual creature attempted to climb into his vehicle. Sam said: "We were loading up then he just came from nowhere and tried to jump into the van. "I was scared to be honest and tired to jump out, then it ran away behind some of our containers.""

*We can confirm that Wilf is now back home and secure within his enclosure.

Horrific footage shows obese 'Monster Foxes' being overbred in cruel fur farms - The Express, August 2017

"The harrowing clip shows the "monster foxes" with huge rolls of fat folding over their bodies and almost covering their eyes. The animals, which can weigh up to five times their natural weight, are being kept in small cages in the fur farms in Finland. Animal rights activists said the foxes are being fattened up so fur farmers can make as much money as possible"

Changes Coming: State Ban Could End Practice of Domesticating FoxesMartinsville Bulletin, July 2017

"Should a fox be kept like a pet? The answer is no, according to a recent decision by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. On August 1, fox enthusiasts across the Commonwealth will be in for a big change, as they may no longer purchase the animals.  While those who own foxes before Aug. 1 may keep their pet, people hoping to welcome a “vulpes vulpes,” or domestic red fox, into their homes will be out of luck. It was only by accident that Virginia residents could adopt foxes in the first place.

“[Game and Inland Fisheries] originally designated breeds of red foxes that could be distinguished from wild foxes as domestic animals to allow fur farmers to raise non-natural color phases of domesticated foxes,” said David Whitehurst, VDGIF board member. “An unintended consequence of that action was to allow the public to keep red foxes as pets.”

Meet Wilf, the Pet Silver Fox Who Has Been Causing a Stir Round Sale - Manchester Evening News, July 2017

"A rare silver fox has been causing a furore in Trafford after he escaped from his owners. Wilf, who has a black and silver coat instead of traditional red, left residents in Sale scratching their heads after he was seen wandering around parks on Monday. Pictures of the creature were posted on Facebook and it was eventually discovered the fox was a domesticated pet. Owner Ellie Monaghan, 17, and older sister Jade drove around Sale attempting to trace him. The four-month old fox was eventually found in a park on Harley Road, close to Sale town centre"

*We can confirm that Wilf is now back home and secure within his enclosure.

Rare and Elusive Black Fox Spotted in Halifax, Again - Halifax Courier, June 2017

"The most recent sighting was reported by Elisabeth Turner, 44. She was flabbergasted when she spotted the elusive animal on her patio last year, initially thinking it could be a big cat. “I did a double take,” she said. “I told my husband, but he didn’t believe me.”"

Are Black Foxes Breeding in Britain? New Sighting of Britain's Rarest Animal -  Daily Mail, April 2017

"A flurry of sightings of Britain's rarest animal has prompted speculation there is now a breeding pair of elusive black foxes. The stunning animal gets its unusual colouring from a super-rare genetic defect and has only been spotted a handful of times in recent history"

*This was a missing pet that is now secure within her enclosure, with a bit of assistance from Black Foxes UK. However, not all the melanistic foxes seen in Halifax are lost pets. We know it possible that some of the foxes seen are the potential descendants of those foxes rumoured to be released at the start of WWII - from an aspiring breeder who potentially sourced stock from a local fur farm. This would account for the high occurrence of melanism seen in foxes in the Halifax area. 

Why Domesticated Foxes are Genetically Fascinating (and Terrible Pets) - PBS Newshour, March 2017

"After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the domesticated fox experiment fell on hard times as public funding for the project evaporated. The researchers realized quickly that keeping more than 300 foxes is an expensive enterprise. In the 1990s, the lab switched to selling some of the foxes as fur pelts to sustain the breeding program. “The current situation is not catastrophic, but not stable at the same time,” Institute of Cytology and Genetics research assistant Anastasiya Kharlamova told BBC Earth last year. Now, the lab’s primary source of revenue is selling the foxes to people and organizations across the globe.One customer is the Judith A. Bassett Canid Education and Conservation Center, located near San Diego. The center keeps six foxes — five of which are domesticated — as ambassadors for their species, so that people can get an up-close-and-personal view of the animals"

Escaped fox Thor back home at Hoo Farm in Telford - with video and pictures - Shropshire Star, Feb 2017

"After days of roaming the streets of Telford, Thor the three-legged fox has now been reunited with his pals at Hoo Farm. The white four-year-old fox travelled about five miles from the farm in Telford on Saturday night, after he used a fallen tree to escape the fox enclosure. A live trap was used along with some food as bait and straw from his fox enclosure, which would smell of his home.Edward Dorrell, partner at Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom, said: "He's been recaptured and he's now back in the enclosure" 

Fears grow for three-legged white fox missing in Telford - BBC, Jan 2017

"Concerns are growing for a three-legged platinum fox which has escaped from a Shropshire wildlife centre. Four-year-old Thor escaped from Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom, near Telford, on Saturday. Farm co-owner Edward Dorrell said he got out after a small branch fell on to his enclosure fence. "He must have jumped about 8ft on to the branch, which was pretty floppy. So that is still a hell of a jump," he said. There have been three sightings of Thor, an Arctic-silver fox cross, but staff are still searching for him" 

*Thor is now home safe and well (see above). 

Rare silver fox Jerry's great escape is over! - Examiner, Jan 2017

"Jerry went missing from Ponderosa in Heckmondwike. An unusual breed of fox who escaped from a farm in Heckmondwike was found safe and well. Jerry the silver fox disappeared from Ponderosa last Wednesday, having the decided the farm life was no longer for him. After a week of being on walkabouts, Jerry was discovered in Brighouse on Wednesday night and given an all-clear from the vets. A spokesperson for Ponderosa thanked the public for their help, without which they said would have made it “near impossible to find Jerry""

Have you seen Jerry? Silver fox goes on the run from Ponderosa - Examiner, Jan 2017

"He's left his twin brother behind at Ponderosa animal centre... The fox called Jerry has vanished from Ponderosa rural therapeutic centre and is now on the run. He is just seven months old and shares a cage with his twin brother, Bambi, but it’s not clear how he got out. He’s thought to have escaped on Wednesday morning and was last spotted in the Staincliffe area of Dewsbury. Farm manager Eve Fern said: “Jerry is not considered dangerous having the temperament of a native fox; however please do not approach him"

*Jerry is now home safe and well (see above). 

2016

Why You Shouldn't Get a Pet Fox, No Matter How Instagram Friendly They Are - Grazia Daily, November 2016

"Over the past five years, searches for ‘where to get a fox’ have gone up notably on Google. This is in line with a growing number of Instagram-famous foxes like Juniper Fox (one million followers), Penny the Fox (30k) and Yui and Enn (also 30k). The comments on these, admittedly very adorable, pictures of foxes vary from ‘omg so adorable’ to ‘omg can we get one?’. But, trust us on this, whilst you are welcome to admire these foxes from afar, you definitely shouldn't get one.

Juniper Fox’s ‘mom’ herself is the first person to say that foxes as pets aren’t something to seek out. According to her, Juniper comes from a line of 'tame' foxes that were bred her for fur, Juniper was domesticated and, according to Jessika, is 'not fit to live in the wild.’ "I don't want to promote them as pets,’ She told Viral Nova. ‘I don't want to see foxes end up in rescues or worse.’

‘Foxes smell.’ She said to Bored Panda. ‘Bad. Their urine and faeces smell like skunk mixed with ammonia. There is no way to ‘de-scent’ a fox. You cannot keep a fox indoors 24/7… Foxes are destructive, they will destroy things in your house. Foxes must be fed some raw meats and bone content in their diet. They also need taurine, or they can go blind, suffer from seizures, and even die…’

Dr. Ros Clubb, the senior scientific officer for wildlife at the RSPCA agrees. ‘What we’re trying to say to people is that if you think really hard about it, you probably don’t want one.’ She says exotic pets as animals is growing problem and, thanks to the internet, social media and celebrity exotic pet owners, she's seeing people seek out foxes, raccoons, raccoon dogs, civets and various primates as domestic pets.

‘We are worried that people are taking on the responsibility before they realise exactly what they have to do,’ She says. ‘By then it’s a bit too late and we get calls about abandoned animals because they actually aren’t the cute fluffy things the owners thought they would be. We’re trying to educate people and get them to think before they take the plunge"

Black fox is caught on camera by Paul Stevens on Portland - Dorset Echo, November 2016

"An elusive resident of Portland has been captured on camera. Portland Camera Club member Paul Stevens spotted this rare black-silver fox in a quarry on the isle. He couldn’t believe his eyes but luckily managed to take this snap as proof. His wife Lorraine first spotted the fox on Saturday, and Mr Stevens went to grab his camera. By the time he got there, the fox had disappeared- but luckily Mr Stevens managed to guess its direction of travel and managed to get a photo. "

*Freda had returned home and was once again secured within her enclosure by the time of this report. 

A Soviet scientist has created the only tame foxes in the World - BBC, September 2016

"In the 1950's a Soviet geneticist began an experiment in guided evolution. He wanted to show how domestication works. From the richly-plumed red fox to the big-eared fennec, foxes look adorable. Because of this, people are sometimes tempted to keep them as pets..."

Chesterfield charity helps exotic pets - Derbyshire Times, July 2016

Never mind cats and dogs... a Chesterfield-based charity is helping unusual pets.Encounter Exotics cares for and rehomes interesting animals including golden knee tarantula Gordon, Japanese raccoon dog Bear and silver fox Brynn... The charity was launched at the start of the year and is operated by Lee Holland, Wenzdi Bennett and Sam Stuart. Lee said: “We’re passionate about animals and love our jobs. “We take on the pets when their previous owners give them up for whatever reason.“We can give species – which don’t usually get help from larger animal charities like the RSPCA – the best possible care" 

Island foxes may be least variable of all wild animals - Science Daily, April 2016

"In comparison to their relatives on the mainland, the Channel Island foxes living on six of California's Channel Islands are dwarves, at two-thirds the size. The island foxes most likely evolved from gray foxes brought to the northern islands by humans over 7,000 years ago. Some think island foxes may have been partially domesticated by Native-Americans. Like many island species, they have little fear of humans."

Owner expresses relief after missing silver fox found - Dorset Echo, March 2016

"A domesticated silver fox that went missing on Portland for nearly a fortnight has been found. Freda, aged two, was reported missing by owner Maddie Bates on March 10.  Following twelve days of uncertainty and a social media appeal, her husband Dave found the fox in Portland Port.  Maddie said: "We've got her. She's driving home in Dave's car. I'm really pleased."The fox had been spotted at various locations around the island, including the Grove, Weston, and Portland Port"

Have you spotted this Silver fox? Portland owner pleas for information - Dorset Echo, March 2016

People on Portland are being asked to look out for a domesticated silver fox.  Maddie Bates, from the Grove, has been keeping Freda as a pet for the past two years. The animal, however, has been missing since Thursday, March 10. There have since been sightings of the fox in The Grove, Weston and Portland Port. Maddie said: "I'm getting a bit worried as she's getting further and further away. "It seems like she's got some friends. People are reporting she's been seen with a red fox."

* Freda was located and returned home safely a few days after this report (see above). 

Siberian Cupcakes’ educates about, & trains domesticated foxes - St George News, March 2016

"Ever think of a fox as a possible candidate for a search and rescue animal? This is what [one] couple... considered after hearing about foxes being raised in Russia as part of a domestication experiment. While initial plans didn’t quite work out as hoped, the couple, who currently reside in south-west Utah, have turned their passion for the little fluff balls into an effort to educate others about the foxes"

Tragedy as incredibly rare black fox struck by car and killed - Express, February 2016 

"An incredibly rare black fox has been tragically killed after it was struck by a car in Yorkshire. The animal, which was well-known in Halifax due to its startling jet black coat, was found dead by a council worker this morning. It is believed the fox was killed by a car, whose driver could not spot the mysterious animal in the dark"

*This fox was believed to be that of the famous "Black Fox Bob" (see below).

Rare black fox takes on hot-blooded red rival in fierce fight...over a vixen - Daily Mail, January 2016

"The black fox and red vixen faced off on a shed roof in Hounslow, London. When the red male padded into view of the black fox, he leapt into action. Trevor Williams, of charity The Fox Project, said: 'In 27 years and dealing with some 10,000 foxes we have never had a black fox brought in'"

2015

Foxy Lady! Mother of two keeps two foxes as family pets and treats them just like her dogs - Daily Mail, October 2015

  • "Tara White lives with two foxes at her home in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. The 27-year-old walks them, has taught them tricks and feeds them blueberries... [Tara] has won funding [from the Prince's Trust] to take the foxes to schools and local community groups"

Wildlife photographer captures amazing images of extremely rare black fox - Daily Mail, September 2015

"A wildlife photographer has captured these amazing images of an extremely rare black fox playing in his back garden. Robert Fuller was shocked when he heard the rare animal had been spotted by another nature enthusiast outside his flat in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and was prompted to start tracking it. The artist and photographer was inspired after seeing some shaky footage by Robert Burns and the pair began embarking on a three-month mission to study the fox and its habits"

*Sadly, this fox was later found to have been killed in a road traffic accident (see above).

Rare black fox captured on camera as it plays in nature enthusiasts garden - Daily Mail, July 2015

"Robert Burns noticed striking animal playing with another fox in his garden At first he thought it was a black cat but realised it was something rarer He set up his camera and captured the fox and vixen playing the next day It's actually red fox going through phase where colour of fur is extra dark"

* This is actually a silver fox (a red fox colour morph), not a cub going through a change in colour. 

Super rare black fox spotted in Coventry for the first time in years - Independant, June 2015

"A black fox, the rare product of a highly uncommon genetic defect, has been spotted in Coventry.Wendy Hier spotted the fox in a grassy area in the Walsgrave area of Coventry, but it ran away before she could take a picture."

The fox and the hound: Orphaned cub rescued from roadside accident bounces back to health thanks to it's new collie best friend - Daily Mail, May 2015

"Three-week-old fox found lying in road next to dead mother after crash. Young animal taken to vets before being adopted by couple in Germany. Fox, called Dinozzo, formed unlikely friendship with pair's collie dog. It now believes it is a dog and also plays with couple's piglets and cat"

Todd the fox who was rescued as a baby cub and thinks he is a dog now goes for walks on a lead and even wags his tail - Daily Mail, March 2015

"Todd the fox tamed after being rescued as cub and raised as domestic pet. Now 11-month-old animal behaves like a dog and wags his tail when happy. Also sleeps in a kennel, plays with dog toys and goes for walks in the park. Owner Emma D'Sylva, of Staffordshire, also keeps a skunk and a raccoon."

* This is a captive bred silver fox, not a native wild fox. 

Rescued animal Roxy becomes a family pet - Express, March 2015

"Grandad, I’m just taking the fox for a walk! Rescued animal Roxy becomes family pet. At first glance, four-year-old Isla Rowe looks like any youngster taking her dog for a walk. But on the end of the lead is Roxy, a fox rescued by Isla’s grandfather, Jeff Grewcock, in 2001. “We think she may be the oldest fox in UK captivity,” said Jeff of Roxy, who turns 14 tomorrow."

Extremely rare fox seen in Yosemite - First time in 100 years - National Geographic, February 2015

"One of the rarest animals in North America, the Sierra Nevada red fox, has been caught on camera in California's Yosemite National Park for the first time in nearly a century. Motion-sensitive cameras stationed in the northern part of the park captured two images—possibly of the same animal—one in December and one in January. The little-seen fox was sighted north of the park in 2010, but no one's seen it inside the park's boundaries since 1916. To say researchers are excited would be an understatement.

"Knowing that the animal is in the park is huge for us," said park wildlife biologist Sarah Stock...

The Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator) is incredibly rare, with as few as 50 individuals thought to exist in North America. Prized for their vibrant coats, red fox populations were devastated by hunting and trapping during the 19th and 20th centuries... "Trapping was banned in 1974, so we actually have a pretty long history of impacting this animal," she said"

2014

Somewhere in Turkey a wild cat and a fox are best friend - Huffington Post, November 2014

"Cats and foxes are cute on their own, but together, they reach a new level of adorable. Take a look at this wild cat and fox's best-friendship, and tell us you don't agree. This duo was discovered by fishermen on the shores of Lake Van in Turkey, according to BuzzFeed. Photos of their friendship spread across the Internet last November, but the pictures resurfaced on Reddit today. And we literally can't look away."

Meet your new pet, a domesticated fox - Fast Company, October 2014

"Dogs have been evolving as human companions for at least about 14,000 years. Cats have lived with us for 12,000. But if you want something a little more cutting edge—and you’re willing to pay up— a pet fox might be just the thing. Domestication started just 55 years ago, but because Russian geneticists methodically bred just the friendliest foxes, a handful of charming, domesticated and trainable foxes are available today"

Is this Britain's friendliest fox? Pudding is so tame she can't be released back into the wild - August 2014

"Pudding the fox was abandoned to her mother in Yorkshire three years ago. The young vixen was taken to the National Fox Welfare Society in Rushden. Pudding failed to reintegrate to fox society preferring human company. Now the three-year-old fox has a growing legion of fans of Facebook."

Couple devastated after fox cub they nursed back to health is taken away - Daily Mail, July 2014

"Rocky was found on a road by Mark Lumsden and Louise Henderson, who took the cub home and nursed him back to health. He loves cuddles, chew toys and chasing his tail – but this is no pet puppy, this is Rocky the house-trained fox cub."

The tricky business of fox farming - The Herald Magazine, May 2014

"Muise already had a PhD, a family, a full-time job and a herd of beef cattle when he convinced wife June in 1984 they should get into the fox business. "I was doing research on light, the effects of light,” says Muise. “I had a student to do research and, then, there were a lot of farms here. We’d have a meeting, and we’d have 200 people. The price then was really high, so a lot of people jumped into it. I would go around to get data, but you couldn’t go on the farms at all times, so I said to June I’d like to start raising them.

“The reason I chose foxes is that they really react to light. As the days get longer, they start producing less melatonin, so they come in heat. Before the winter, when the days get shorter, they produce more melatonin, so they wouldn’t come in heat, but they produce more fur because of the melatonin.” The couple started with 10 females and four males. That first year, production was high and all the pups lived to maturity. The couple was hooked, and it helped that the family didn’t depend on the foxes for income"

Farley the famous fox goes missing - ITV, Feb 2014

"A domestic fox, made famous in a national advert has gone missing in Chesterfield. Ten month old Farley was hand reared by his owner Pam Mackinson after his mother abandoned him.High winds at the start of February forced open his enclosure and he escaped, leaving Pam worried about him, as he doesn't know how to hunt for food or care for himself properly in the wild"

*Sadly, Farley was later found deceased

Fox sets new record after being tracked for nearly 200 miles - Telegraph, Jan 2014

"An urban fox which travelled 195 miles to find a new home is believed to have set a new record for the longest recorded journey made by its species in the UK."

2013

Angelina really is a foxy lady! Scientists discover silver foxes share same facial features as a beautiful women - Daily Mail, November 2013

"A Russian experiment to breed friendlier foxes in 1959 suggests that an affable looking face is more desirable as it signifies sociable behaviour. Research by the University of Cambridge found attributes of a 'beautiful' fox face are similar to the features of an attractive human.  The presence of characteristics such as a soft jaw and small nose in children plays a role in dictating how a mother treats them, according to research."

Elusive Kirkburton black fox spotted in Highburton garden - Examiner, October 2013

"The mystery Kirkburton black fox has been spotted in a Highburton garden - foraging for food. The elusive animal was first seen in a field in Kirkburton and is believed to be a rare black fox, with possible ancestry stretching back to the Second World War."

Fox steals phone, send text in mysterious fox language - Huffington Post, August 2013

"Footage has emerged of a fox stealing a teenager's phone. After scurrying off with the boy's device, the sneaky beast then sent a taunting text. It read: "Jlv In ø \ a0ab 34348tu åaugjoi zølbmosdji jsøg ijio sjiw." Chilling."

Amazing moment a tiny fox with it's head stuck in a jar approaches two men for help - Daily Mail, June 2013

"Filmed on a Russian dirt road, this shows the wild fox overcome its shyness. Curiosity had got the better of the fox and it knew humans were its only help. One rescuer joked: 'Where's the thank you?' as it returned to the bushes."

Urban foxes: The facts and the fiction - Gaurdian, February 2013

"The attack last week on a baby in south-east London has led to them being described as a 'menace' and to be culled. But are they really a threat?"

The fox and the hound! Rescued Roxy becomes best pals with dogs at animal sanctuary - January 2013

"Roxy found nearly strangled hanging by a rope from a bridge. She walks on a lead, plays with dog toys and only eats cooked chicken."

Can I have a pet fox? - PopSci, January 2013

"How a furry-convention-attending, mid-western-accented fox owner teamed up with a bizarre Floridian exotic animal importer and a Soviet geneticist to bring pet foxes to your living room"

2012

How I trained my pet fox called Anna to be like a household pet dog - Siberian Times, November 2012 

"These remarkable pictures show how young Siberian scientist Irina Mukhamedshina, 22, has trained a fox to be as obedient as a dog. The experiment was on her own initiative, though she used foxes from a special Novosibirsk Institute of Cytology and Genetics farm, where research into taming the animals have provided remarkable insights into how - over many thousands of years - man domesticated wild animals into pets"

Extremely rare, extremely curious: Photographer captures enchanting images silver fox - Daily Mail, October 2012

"Too curious for his own good: Rare silver fox that has been hunted to near oblivion can't resist lure of a photographer."

Commuters late night brush with baby fox on the tube - Standard, August 2012

"They've invaded London's garden and even homes - now it seems urban foxes are taking over the tube. Gadget and gaming journalist Stephen Ebert and student Harriet Horn were travelling on the underground late last night when a fox suddenly came into their train and jumped onto a seat."

Rare black fox "likely to be from fur farm" scientists say - BBC, May 2012

"Scientists studying the body of a rare black fox killed on a Cambridgeshire road, say it may have originated from a Russian fur farm."

*This was a known lost pet and was indeed a fur farm descendant. It was definitely not a hybrid. This possibility was later retracted, after a member of Black Foxes UK got in touch with the scientist involved (it appears data was held on the Russian domesticated foxes, but not on farm foxes bred as pets in the UK, hence the confusion).

Scientists want to unravel mystery behind rare black that died when hit by a car - The Hunts Post, April 2012

"The black fox of Bassingbourn which was killed by a car yesterday (Thursday) will be tested by scientists to see if the mystery behind its existence can be revealed. The fox was spotted in the area last week. But shortly afterwards, it was hit by a car between Royston and Bassingbourn. It has now been delivered to the Life Sciences Department at the Anglia Ruskin University, with plans to test it to discover the cause of the genetic mutation"

* Black Foxes UK contacted this scientist to alert them to the fact that this animal was a known lost pet. It was indeed a fur farm descendant and not a native fox. 

Mysterious white fox spotted on Kent farm where iconic TV show was filmed - Daily Mail, May 2012

"It is best known as the home of 1990s TV comedy The Darling Buds Of May, which threw a young Catherine Zeta-Jones into the public eye. But Buss Farm in Kent has now become a stomping ground for a mysterious white fox, which would look more at home on Frozen Planet than the classic TV show. The albino creature's coat is so white that the farm's owner thought it was a lamb until he saw it chasing down rabbits in his field."

Is it an omen? Mysterious black fox reappears in British countryside for first time since 2008 - Daily Mail, March 2012

"John Moore from Bassingbourn, near Royston, Herts, saw the creature, with its distinctive white-tipped tail, in fields behind his house. Only one other black fox has been spotted in Britain before in Preston."

Largest fox killed in UK shot on Aberdeenshire farm - BBC, March 2012

"A fox believed to be the biggest killed in Britain was shot after attacking lambs on an Aberdeenshire farm. It weighed 38lbs 1oz (17.2kg) and was 4ft 9in (1.4m) from nose to the tip of its tail. On average the animals tend to weigh up to about 15lbs (6.8kg)."

Ramsgate man describes pet foxes as 'like a puppy crossed with a cat' - Kent Live, March 2012

"They are not everyone’s idea of a perfect pet but an animal lover from Ramsgate says his foxes are just fantastic. Niels Peters, 30, of Hollicondane Road, Ramsgate keeps two pet American red foxes – Max and Roxy – as pets, which he has had since they were kits. Exotic-pet nut Niels says his foxy friends which he says can provoke a mixed reaction from people"

2011

New museum displays highlight story of fox and mink farming in isles - Shetland Times, April 2011

"Shetland Museum this week unveiled three new focus display cases within the galleries, including an 18th century waistcoat, a folding “scrap screen” and a number of items portraying the story of fox and mink farming in Shetland. The first new display, next to the textile area in the upper gallery, features items telling the story of fox and mink farming in Shetland from the 1930s to the 1970s. Fur was a popular fashion accessory and the humane farming of these animals contributed to Shetland’s involvement in the fur trade"

Red and Arctic foxes clash in Russia - BBC, April 2011

"Russia's Arctic foxes are under threat from an expanding population of red foxes, according to scientists. For the first time, a red fox has been observed intruding on an Arctic fox breeding den in Russia's far north. The Arctic fox abandoned its den to the dominant intruder, leaving pups to fend for themselves. Researchers say this is evidence that red foxes are expelling Arctic foxes as a warming climate allows them to survive much further north."

Animal Domestication: Taming the Wild - National Geographic, March 2011

"We're standing between two long rows of similar crates on a farm just outside the city of Novosibirsk, in southern Siberia...Hidden away on this overgrown property, flanked by birch forests and barred by a rusty metal gate, he and several hundred of his relatives are the only population of domesticated silver foxes in the world"

It's a dog's life for Miss Snooks - the fox who spends her day snoozing on the sofa of her own flat after being taken in as a pet - Daily Mail, Febuary 2011

"As far as pampered pets go, Miss Snooks has it all. The only thing that sets her apart from other pets, however, is that she's a fox. Living in her own one-bedroom flat, she spends all day dozing on the sofa in between tucking into her favourite meal of roast chicken cooked in honey. Occasionally, she may play hide-and-seek in a den of blankets.

Seen here getting cosy with master Steve on a sofa and still up to her old tricks, snooty Miss Snooks lives the high life. The vixen was taken in seven years ago by 58-year-old Steve and his wife Nola, 56. Abandoned by her mother, a local who found her alone took the defenceless cub to animal lover Steve's pet shop in Hassocks, East Sussex"

Fox may have been prehistoric man's best friend - Daily Mail, January 2011

"Early man may have preferred the fox as a pet rather than dogs, new findings suggest. Researchers analysing remains at a prehistoric burial ground in Jordan have uncovered a grave in which a fox was buried with a human, dated thousands of years before dogs were kept as companions. The University of Cambridge-led team believes that the unprecedented case - in which the remains of the animal and the man were then partially transferred to an adjacent grave - points to some kind of emotional link between human and fox."

Fox shoots man: Wounded creature pulls trigger on rifle hunter was using to finish him off - Daily Mail, January 2011

"A hunter became the hunted after a fox managed to shoot him with his own gun. The stricken animal somehow pulled the trigger of the man’s shotgun with its paw, hitting him in the leg. The bizarre incident happened as the unnamed 40-year-old hunter tried to kill the fox with the butt of his gun after shooting it from a distance."

2010

Fur farm foxes trained to combat mole rat plague - Reuters, July 2010

 "Authorities in China’s far west have bred and trained “an army” of silver foxes bought from a fur farm to fight a plague of rats threatening a huge expanse of grasslands, state media said on Wednesday. The Xinjiang government bought 20 foxes in 2004 and they have since increased to 284 and been released into the wild, the official Xinhua news agency said.

“Foxes are excellent natural predators of the rodent. One fox can catch about 20 rats per day. There has been a decline in the rat population in several counties where the measure has been adopted,” it quoted official Ni Yifei as saying. Rat numbers have exploded due to unusually dry conditions and threaten more than 5.5 million hectares of grasslands, the report said. In one of the areas where the foxes have been released, rat numbers have dropped 70 percent, it added. “The silver fox was chosen to be the rat fighter for its distinctive ability to run, hunt and live under the harsh living conditions on the prairie,” Ni said"

Nature UK: Have you seen a black fox? - BBC, May 2010

 "Over 20 years ago I was tipped off about an incredibly rare black fox in southern England and was lucky enough to film it. I have not seen one since... The Springwatch team have been searching all over the country to see if any are alive today, and hopefully to film one, but unfortunately the trail has gone cold. Although I've heard rumours of sightings here and there, I'm intrigued to know whether or not there are any living examples of these near mythical beasts. And I really need your help. If you have ANY information about a black fox, please, please let us know by commenting below."

2008

Unlucky rare black fox spotted in Britain - Lancashire Post, September 2008

"A black fox has been found dead in a field, just weeks after one was spotted in a Lancashire graveyard. A woman who lives on a farm in Heapey, near Chorley, contacted the Evening Post to say she had found the dead young creature in her field last week. It follows the sighting of a black fox – thought to be the first of its kind seen in this country – in a church yard in Chorley at the beginning of the month. The woman, who did not wish to be named, said: "I think it might have starved or I suppose it could have been poisoned – it certainly hadn't been shot – or it could've been ill... " The woman kept hold of the fox's body, which had decomposed except for the tail, in case the Wildlife Trust wanted to investigate"

Unlucky rare black fox spotted in Britain - Telegraph, September 2008

"A rare black fox has been captured on camera in Britain for what is thought to be the first time. Kevin Hehir, 48, was astonished when he spotted the fox while out walking. The black fox is so rare that wildlife experts believe there are only a handful of the breed left in the country."

More black fox videos emerge  - BBC, September 2008

"A BBC News website reader has sent in footage filmed in 2005 of what he says is a black fox cub. Stephen Webb from Surrey says that the mother of the cub is a red fox which lived in his garden and regularly gave birth to black cubs."

2006

Rare Pregnant Vixen Caught in Snare - National Anti Snaring Campaign, April 2006

"This rare silver coloured and lactating vixen has died in a snare leaving her starving young to die. Not only is this an indication of the snarer's inhumanity, but shows how indiscriminate and detrimental to conservation snares are. The snare which killed the fox was also set in a fence line, contrary to Defra's new code"

1999

Early Canid Domestication: The Farm-Fox Experiment - American Scientist, March 1999

"Foxes bred for tamability in a 40-year experiment exhibit remarkable transformations that suggest an interplay between behavioral genetics and development... Belyaev believed that the patterns of changes observed in domesticated animals resulted from genetic changes that occurred in the course of selection. Belyaev, however, believed that the key factor selected for was not size or reproduction, but behavior—specifically amenability to domestication, or tamability"

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