Saturday, 5 March 2011

The enemy within

Now I have seen it I wonder how I missed it all this time, I mean its nearly six foot high and even with taking into account the uneven surface of Bonsai Mountain and the extensive foliage, the fact that I have walked past this set of earthworks for the last 4 years without sensing they were there is a bit of a worry. This massive bunker complex built by foxes was finally unearthed at dusk yesterday when I was taking the magnificent seven for a leg stretch. Something up on the hill, just past the Wyrde Creature (still standing, Crom Fegg watches us) in a clearing below some rocky crags did not look right. Not the huge mound, that was too easy to spot.
My eye was drawn to this, a dead dog fox. Now when I first saw it I did think it was lay still watching us, but it was very dead. I am baffled by the dog foxes remains, only 24 hours old, maximum, it was intact, so sign of injury so not shot. No sign of fighting around it, no bite marks, no broken bones, ribs intact, the picture of health save for two things( three if you count bereft of life) its jaw was broken and both ears were missing. I called the Berners to my side in case there was some strange mutant Badger, who like King Kong could break the jaws of its enemies. Perhaps Badger Kong wears a necklace of fox ears. It was all very odd, presumably any trophy hunter would have taken the brush, and this young dog fox had a splendid one still on attached. Had it been run over and made it back to the Bonsai Mountain, but how did its jaw break and no other bone if hit by a vehicle, and it was recently, this was a well fed animal. And where were its ears! Unable to solve the puzzle of the dead fox I marvelled at the earthworks.
A serious amount of the inside of the Bonsai Mountain has been brought to the surface, seven main tunnel entrances are grouped together with a smaller perhaps emergency exit hidden away. Tracks and paths go off at various angles and by following some of them I found the remains of at least some of our hens, geese, turkeys and ducks. Other bigger bones are perhaps lambs. It is most likely that the occupants of these tunnels are the very same that tried to dig up Passion our recently deceased beagle. The final clue that this is fox, not badger, was the discovery of the latrine. A massive area amongst the gorse bushes pitted with shallow scrapes in the ground and carefully filled in with pooh. At key points on the trail the distinctive "scat" droppings warning other foxes that this ground is already taken.

All this is just 50 metres from our perimeter and almost within sight of Stalag 14 the chicken run. In the words of the outraged moral majority "something must be done". We have lost some 200 poultry since living here, it got to the point of us giving up having our own eggs as we could not afford the loses. So something will be done. Now we know where the foxes are living, and where they cross our boundary they will, sooner or later meet my new friend Mr Beretta, a very nice semi automatic three shotgun that arrived at Rock HQ today. It should give me a nice edge in any future encounter.
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