A tragedy for local foxes


“Gotō-inari-jinja fox” by Hatsuki Maruyama from Japan – Looking Each Other. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

WARNING: This post includes a distressing image. Last night, I learned that something terrible had happened not very far from where I live. Three foxes had been shot and dumped at the side of the road. Someone uploaded a picture of them on Facebook to highlight the tragedy and I have included it here – it is distressing so please do not read on if you don’t want to see it.


When I first saw this photo, I was of course immediately worried about our own local family of foxes – these animals can have large territories and it could have been them. But I soon saw and heard them outside my house, which made me hugely relieved.

But that doesn’t make me any less sad for the foxes who have been killed and dumped in this manner. We’ll probably never find out who did this – in the UK, it’s not illegal to shoot foxes, so it’s probably the case that this will not be considered a crime.

I find it upsetting to see any animal die unnecessarily by human hands, but especially so for foxes as they have such an important role in my spirituality. Foxes are sacred to me and to see something I revere treated like this makes sickens me. On top of this, but through our local fox family, I feel that I have really got to know these creatures – I see them interacting and playing with each other, just like a human family. The foxes killed yesterday could well have been a family too. Killed only to please one selfish, heartless human and then dumped on the roadside like rubbish.

It’s unlikely that the same thing will happen to our local foxes, as the ones killed probably lived near the motorway where there are fewer people and so shooting them is easier. But it still makes me worried for them – there are so many ways they could die through human action, such as being hit by a car (one of the most common causes of death for foxes in the UK).

I feel powerless in that that there is nothing I can do to help them. Except maybe continuing to support the local charity the Fox Project, and of course, offering my prayers to Inari Okami and ask her to keep watching over our foxes.



Filed under Nature & Environment

9 responses to “A tragedy for local foxes

  1. This is distressing to not respect animals and cruel too. The person who did this, did not respect themselves. One day, the consequences of their cruel acts will come …

  2. It’s not such an easy life for the wildlife here England /UK humans having taken over most of the space ..& Yes very sad to see … however there is no harm in wishing people what they deserve … and people like those that harm children and animals .. I might even add a wee word to karma to give and show them what they deserve

    • I know 😦 It’s so sad because out local foxes live quite harmoniously with the neighbourhood. They don’t go through the rubbish or leave waste anywhere. There is no reason at all to kill them.

  3. I just don’t see any possible way in which killing all those foxes and leaving them on the road like that could have been necessary. I’m terribly sorry to hear about this.

    • I know, there is no way you can justify this. I understand farmers who shoot foxes to protect their livestock (even if I couldn’t do that myself), but this clearly wasn’t the work of a farmer. Just some horrible person who doesn’t understand that other beings have feelings.

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