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Foxes stealing things

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MsBehave | 13:31 Thu 04th Aug 2005 | Animals & Nature
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We have about four foxes coming into our garden - two adults and two youngsters. We are a very animal loving family and have always fed the various animals who come into the garden. The foxes started coming in regularly when we began putting dog food out at night. They are lovely and not a pest in the slightest but they have begun stealing things and we are curious as to why. Is is just a playful thing that the younger ones are doing? They have taken a (car) chamois and also keep taking a shoe from the back door which we usually have been able to find near the back of the garden. Last night though the thieves nicked a flip flop and we havent found it. Its just quite bizzare. Any ideas?

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I'm sure it's just a play thing the same as any young dog would do.  They do seem to love leathery things don't they?  I've found my gardening gloves well chewed many times - I bring them in now - and the straps on my newly planted trees have also been nibbled.  They brought my next door neighbour a gardening boot one day, which someone had obviously taken off & left outside & then a few days later he got the other one!! He asked around but couldn't find out who they belonged to.  I'm waiting for them to bring me a nice pair of Jimmy Choo's!!

This is just so lovely.  You are so lucky.  Unfortunately, we never have foxes in our garden and we live out in a very rural area with fields all round us.  They are so much more friendly in urban areas and I would love to have a family of foxes visiting me.  I suppose they lie low out here because of the farmers and the excessive hunting that has taken place.

A lot of ducks are visiting us nowadays, but they don't steal anything at all.

I live near a golf course surrounded by woods and I regularly leave meaty leftovers out for the foxes - usually in an old roasting tin.  I've been doing this on and off since the snows in January when I saw a pathetically skinny fox wandering down our road one night.

I don't like to leave stuff every night in case they get too used to it, and end up at risk. A vet friend suggested that their eating habits in the wild is feast and famine and that feeding wild animals too regularly is not good for them when hard times come.

If I leave stuff out in foil trays the foxes take the tray as well as the food! I assumed they might be carrying stuff back to their den for the cubs.

Never had them steal any of my gardening boots or gloves, but they did leave me a present on the doorstep once - luckily it was relatively easy to clean up ;-)

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They are very interesting little guys and we definately appreciate how lucky we are! Its quite strange the way they are happy to hang around and watch us. You would expect them to be a little more shy but no, they sit and just look at you as if they would like to say 'hi,got any more food?' They are lovely.

Another thing i wanted to answer - would foxes chase a badger to hurt it or, again is it just a play thing?

A few months ago, I got up in the middle of the night for a wee & just happened to glance out of our bedroom window. There was a fox strutting past the house - it made me smile & I said to my husband "Perhaps he's just coming back from the pub!". 

We live near a big park & a churchyard - so no doubt Mrs Fox was waiting for him with a frying pan!

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