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Plea as urban foxes attack Roves farm pets after being left in woods
THE owners of a family-run farm are urging people to stop dumping urban foxes in South Marston after savage attacks on their animals.
An increasing number of urban foxes are turning up at Roves Farm, in Sevenhampton, and the owners believe it is because the foxes are being taken to Nightingale Wood.
The popular family attraction lost all eight of its three-month-old guinea fowl to a pair of urban foxes last week.
Pippa Burr, animal manager, said: “Foxes that have lived in urban areas lack natural survival skills, and find it impossible to hunt wildlife. This, coupled with having no fear of humans, means that urban foxes are preying on farm animals day and night.
“Farm animals are in a pen and they are tamer so they are an easy target.
“We have a two-day-old pygmy goat kid, which we fear could be the foxes’ next victim.
“Although extensive measures have been taken to reduce the risk, the three other nannies are due to kid at any time; staff are keeping their fingers crossed that they get to the newborn kids before the foxes.”
On Thursday, a fox was found attacking one of the pet turkeys in the poultry pen, in the middle of the day. The bird was rescued by a member of staff just in time.
During 2012 Pippa lost 10 per cent of her newborn lambs to foxes, and as lambing approaches she is worried that this may significantly increase if people continue to leave the creatures in the wood.
“This has got to stop. The urban foxes that we have seen are all in very poor condition, suffering from mange and malnourishment due to their inability to hunt.
“They don’t have a natural hunting instinct,” she said.
“By dumping foxes in the countryside, individuals are reducing the foxes’ survival rate but also putting many farm animals at risk.”
Pippa said they know they are urban foxes because wild foxes run away when they see humans, whereas urban foxes are not scared of people.
Roves Farm is a 166 hectare working, mixed, open farm.
Roves Farm Visitor Centre is open every day from 10am until 4.30pm.
For more information visit www.rovesfarm.co.uk or phone 01793 763939.