It’s hard work being an urban fox. Terrorising city types, digging up gardens and trying to avoid the many, many people who want to shoot you is tiring — as is clear from this photograph.
Taken by author and editor Rachel Johnson (who also happens to be the sister of London Mayor Boris Johnson), it shows a fox reclining on the second-floor windowsill of a townhouse in Elgin Crescent, Notting Hill.
“It must have got up via the scaffolding on the house next door,” Rachel, who lives nearby, told the Evening Standard. “People were coming out of their houses with telephoto cameras — but luckily no one decided to shoot it! It was rather a sitting duck there on the ledge.”
“There are lots of them in the neighbourhood, always in the gardens — they seem to own the place,” she continued. “But when I saw this one it was hard to feel the same sense of rage.”
Earlier this year animal-lover Joanna Lumley revealed that she cares for urban foxes who live in her back garden in London, telling the Daily Mail that she feeds them and lets them curl up on the sofa with her.
The 69-year-old actress said: “They lived here before [us] and they are feral creatures. If we don’t feed them they get mange and die and that’s not fair. We have several that come around. I try not to name them but they live under the shed at the back of the garden. They walk on the walls and are completely charming. When my husband leaves the music room door open they come in and sit on the sofa. One came in while he was practising. Like a little dog, she just sat there and listened to him playing.”
However pest-control experts advise people not to feed foxes, warning that by doing so they put themselves at risk. In recent years several reports of foxes attacking babies in their homes have made city dwellers even more wary of the animal (although animal charities stress that it is very rare for a fox to attack a human).