It’s colder outside. Couldn’t think of anything witty to write. So in lieu of writing something, here’s a photo dump of foxes.
Hope that helps keep everyone warm.
This is a post I started a couple of weeks ago, and am just now getting around to finishing it.
I often see this on many different social networking platforms; picture of some adorable animal, most likely a baby version of the full adult, with people wishing they could have one as a pet. Most often, the prime examples are bear cubs, lion cubs, tiger cubs, anything that is a massive killer when it becomes an adult. That’s the first thing I want to mention.
I’ll use tiger for this example, because I know a bit about them. Yes, tiger cubs are cute. They’re basically large cats or kittens. They have the same playful spirit as kittens, they have the same curiosity as kittens, they even sort of squeak and mew like kittens. But here’s the thing about tiger cubs; they grow up. A lot. You essentially end up with an animal that weighs 600 pounds, can move fast, has slashing claws and teeth. Not exactly the creature you want as a pet. Especially when you are basically made up of what they eat; meat. Tigers are also incredibly unpredictable. They may be playing one minute in a pool or lounging around in the shade, and then ready to strike with all ferocity the next minute. Trying to predict a tiger’s mood is like trying to predict the weather, and even then the weather is a thousand times easier to predict.
I’ve caught myself in these kinds of situations, especially with the smaller cats of the wild like bobcats and ocelots, or even my favourite of all wild animals, the fox. Each one of these animals has had the misfortune of being sought after for one reason or another by humans. Ocelots were hunted for their pelts, and later as part of an illegal pet trade. Foxes, especially in North America, were victims of the predator and pest laws that allowed farmers to shoot on sight. This action caused the near extinction of the swift fox and the kit fox. In Europe, especially in Britain, hunting red foxes was a sport. But now even foxes are part of the illegal pet trade (there are some reputable pet breeders who deal in foxes, but they are all domesticated, and act quite a bit like regular dogs). Fennec foxes are quite popular as pets, due to their large ears and relatively small size. From what I’ve heard, they actually make good companions for domesticated cats (regular house cats).
I’ll admit, these animals are rather cute, but I’ve had to steel myself and realize the reality is that they need to remain in the wild. Naturally, that isn’t always an option because many times populations become so dwindled we have to assist them, like what many zoos attempt to do. A place like Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida tries to rehabilitate lesser and greater cats, or gives them a place to live out their final days. Many of the big cats at Big Cat Rescue are former circus tigers or lions, and some have lived for over 20 years in captivity.
I’ll give an example of illegal pet trade, and what it does to the animal.
This is the slender loris, a popular animal to keep as a pet. Nocturnal by nature, they are members of the complete genus of loris. They are actually primates. Located in Sri Lanka and India, the loris has huge eyes to help it hunt insects that it requires for food. They also have very sharp front incisors, and a bite from a loris can be quite toxic. In the illegal pet trade, these teeth are removed from the animal, often without any anaesthetic. So they go through a huge amount of trauma before they are shipped off to a customer, and then they aren’t allowed their natural habitat which happens to be in the dark.
I still get it, it’d be awesome to have one of these as a pet, but to be honest, the only way I’d actually want one is if I was caring for it because it couldn’t survive in the wild. Just imagine if a fox ended up in your back yard with a leg trapped in a gopher trap (common trap placed in gopher burrows to trap and kill gophers). These traps injure more than just gophers, as other animals may fall victim to them as well. If the fox ended up in your back yard, with a trap around its leg, chances are good it dragged itself there and is now exhausted from trying to get the trap off, loss of blood, and trauma its going through. Chances are also good it can never use that leg again. Most would like the humane thing to do would be to kill it. I’m of a different sort, and I’d probably want to help it, but that would also mean I’d become the fox’s care giver, because that fox would never be able to hunt in the wild again. A loss of a limb means it can’t pounce properly to hunt for food, that it would be easy pickings for larger predators like hawks and coyotes. Essentially condemning it to death even if you did save it.
Even then, that would be a huge responsibility to become an animal’s care giver, not mentioning the fact that you’d have to convince the animal you meant it no harm. The fox doesn’t know you, as far as it’s concerned you’re the one who set the trap and put it in its current predicament.
Essentially, I know animals like the ones above are cute, and look cuddly and they are adorable. But they need to remain in the wild. The best way to care for them isn’t by wishing to have one as a pet, but educating yourself on their habitats, their hunting practices, their social groups and their life cycles. Then try to ensure that their environments in the wild are maintained and kept exactly the way that animal would want it to be kept. That way, we can view these animals from a far without hurting their populations.
Each chapter of Rocket Fox will be posted to wattpad. They’ll be posted up each weekday morning, Monday to Friday.
Friday morning, the weekend is almost here, and October is almost here. Environment Canada is predicting a high of 25 Celsius. And just because, here’s some photos of foxes I’ve found around cyberspace.
Random pictures of foxes! I am not the photographer of any of these pictures, those credits are below the photo with a link to the source where they were found.
We’ll actually start things off with a video that’s rather informative of the different calls foxes have. Some are downright eerie.
In this video, you will learn a few different fox calls and sounds, and what they mean. Foxes can make up to more then 40 calls and sounds; contact calls, and interaction calls. Foxes are normally quiet animals, and their calls are mostly heard durning the mating season when foxes are calling out to each other and fighting over territory. Fox cubs are very quiet, and only make sounds when they are playing, fighting, or nursing. Most of the time, fox calls are mistaken for the call of another animal.
And, just because, a wonderful photo of Caracal kittens.
Click the links above each photo for the original source.
Maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s just the fact that there was a piece of literature out there that I enjoyed a great deal and fell in love with the comedy of it’s words. Thanks for the fish. Don’t panic. Always remember your towel.
I awoke this morning with the not so subtle reminder that today is Towel Day. There on my tumblr dashboard was something that told me not to forget my towel.
I was excited. Filled with girlish glee (and I am comfortable in my manhood to say I was indeed filled with girlish glee), I set forth to spread the message of the day. Naturally, I thought one way of doing this would be to venture into the gaming world of Champions Online. I would take the character I fashioned for the Rocket Fox series and go into a populated area with her towel. One of the more populated areas that players go to happens to be called, Club Caprice. So there I was, playing the role of Senia Felix, commander of the Royal Vulpine Armada’s Nighthawk class deep space fighter. I walked up to the bar, order myself a tea and scones, and made certain that every time I said something or described an action, that the towel would also be mentioned.
Hang the towel over a shoulder.
Use the towel to wipe off the counter of crumbs.
Slip the towel into the weapons belt.
Much to my surprise, and my chagrin, there was no reaction. None at all.
Granted, I do know that some players have identified anyone playing an anthropomorphic character as a “furry”, and there is a lot of stereotypical baggage that comes with that sub genre. Those players often ignore such characters. Their loss, really. Especially when dealing with the members of the Royal Vulpine Armada. Granted, there are those who are mildly entertained by Senia’s actions; an incredibly intelligent mind in such a small frame. A military officer sworn with a duty to protect and keep the peace. A dedicated explorer.
But what I was really disappointed with was there was no reaction at all, even from those that Senia spoke to and interacted with, who mentioned the towel. Who got the reference. Even when some had to leave, there was no comment to “As the intergalactic saying goes, don’t panic” whatsoever. There wasn’t even a reaction to the comment “thanks for all the fish” upon my leaving the club.
Perhaps it was just the morning crowd. I’ll have to try again this evening.