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What would kill a fox?

(16 Posts)
HelgatheHairy Tue 11-Mar-14 11:48:06

Bit random I know!

I came across a dead fox today (well my dog did). It was in the middle of a field in the open. I never thought about it too much but don't most wild animals take shelter if they're dying? I'm wondering if what killed him might harm my dog.

I know the farmer whose field he was in, he doesn't allow shooting and he knows I walk my dog there so wouldn't put down poisin without telling me.

My boy is fine but I'll keep an eye on him. Just wondering really.

SummerRain Tue 11-Mar-14 11:50:09

Poison, be very careful and keep your dog on lead. Farmers round here poison foxes and I've lost two cats to it, plus a baby badger died last year because of the bastards.

yegodsandlittlefishes Tue 11-Mar-14 11:53:00

Is the farmer also the land owner, and have you told him? He might have a better idea, and he might want to know in case he wants to clear a corpse that size away to reduce the risk of disease spreading.

Owllady Tue 11-Mar-14 11:56:23

It could have been shot?
We tend to come across dead muntjac deer occasionally, I never even considered they could have been poisoned shock there was a dead one in the neighbours back garden not long ago

HelgatheHairy Tue 11-Mar-14 11:57:57

I'm actually the land owner and have it leased to the farmer.

I'll mention it to the farmer.

HelgatheHairy Tue 11-Mar-14 11:59:28

owl I had a conversation with the farmer and I know he doesn't allow shooting and neither do I. Could have been someone who didn't bother asking though.

Dwerf Tue 11-Mar-14 12:04:37

Could it have been run over and died later from internal bleeding? No marks on the corpse but massive invisible injuries?

yegodsandlittlefishes Tue 11-Mar-14 13:04:49

Fight with another fox?

Disease, or internal injury? (Though I agree, I thought a fox would go to ground to die - or we'd see a lot more of their remains, surely?

HelgatheHairy Tue 11-Mar-14 13:18:22

Its not so much invisible injuries. There was a hole in its side and I could see the ribs but that could have been after death with crows etc.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Tue 11-Mar-14 13:26:21

Probably shot by some scumbag that couldn't do the job properly and it's wandered away and died.

Old age? Illness? I don't know much else about what kills foxes. Ours don't last that long.

Ooh, it might be an urban fox dumped in the countryside by some idiot from the town. It's probably been hounded off by the local foxes and starved to death.

HelgatheHairy Tue 11-Mar-14 13:47:40

I'm in rural Ireland, I don't think we have urban foxes!

I just thought it strange and I'm from the country and have never seen a dead fox before. I didn't get a very close look as I was trying to stop the dog rolling in it.

GotMyGoat Tue 11-Mar-14 13:50:31

There was a beautiful dead fox in front of my house the other week, no marks I could see so don't think it was roadkill and then moved. I've seen 3 or 4 dead foxes in my area in the last couple of months - mostly roadkill, they get really cocky and just run out sad

moosemama Wed 12-Mar-14 14:00:34

Illegal coursers - as in coursers that don't have permission to work the land?

A large, fit Lurcher of the right type can bring down a fox, but the courses would probably not bother to take it away with them, unlike any rabbits they may have caught.

There's a certain online hunting forum, with a large Irish contingent, where there are plenty of photographs posted of hunting dogs standing with their quarry and those often include both rabbits and foxes. Very often they don't look like there's a mark on them.

Not sure about the law in Ireland, but in the UK you can only hunt rabbits with dogs if it's being done for pest-control purposed and you have the specific permission of the landowner.

SummerRain Wed 12-Mar-14 14:21:41

Helga, I'm in rural Ireland too, I still think poison is quite likely. They can get quite far before falling after eating it so it may not be your farmer but a neighbouring farmer who put it down.

People who shoot foxes here tend to take the bodies (I've had the misfortune to visit someone's house and have to step over a dead fox on the way in, proudly displayed in front of the house as a trophy angry)

Alternatively it may have been ill with a disease which caused it to behave erratically and keep moving despite being ill.

Does the farmer have cattle? It's also a vague possibility it got too close to a cow and got kicked.

hootloop Wed 12-Mar-14 14:28:48

A big cat: lynx, puma etc but I am a big fan of cryptozoology so not the best person to ask.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Thu 13-Mar-14 23:30:17

My DPil leaves the dead fox in the farmyard for a day or two as a trophy. angry I know they're a nuisance but he's got so little respect for animals it's scary.

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