I saw foxes daily, the local population seemingly fearless – Foxes are an introduced species to Australia along with rabbits, both brought in and deliberately released for hunting purposes by early colonists. Both species did exceedingly well here and have since become pests. In rural areas where sheep are bred, foxes are killers of lambs. Farmers take after them with guns or lay out poison and do what they can to eradicate them, but foxes (like rabbits) continue to thrive in this country.
In my first few weeks here I saw many foxes daily, sometimes quite late into the morning. I mainly saw them in the surrounding fields but also watched them returning to the hedgerow next to our house. The locals knew of them there, in fact I’ve been warned twice about the large family of foxes living on my doorstep, so they must have been there for quite a while.
Then something happened. Overnight they were gone. No one hunted them. Hunting foxes is done at night with spotlights and guns, I’d be very aware of such activity close to home. No one poisoned them – 1080 is the poison of choice and any property using it must put up warning signs as it’s so lethal.
The foxes just… went. Was it that they took notice of me and moved out on my account? Was it that they didn’t like being so close to a house now occupied? It didn’t seem to bother them in the first month or so, they never tried to hide from me.