Urban Foxes and Hedgehogs
22nd August 2022 at 9:29 am #39355
I live in an urban area and have 2-3 hedgehogs visit during the night. Foxes are also frequent visitors and normally ignore the hedgehogs. Merely sniffing them. However last night a young hedgehog was carried off by a fox. CCTV on the house shows the fox pawing the hedgehog picking it up then dropping it. The young hedgehog seemed unhurt. However a couple of hours later the fox encounters the hedgehog again and this time picks it up and carries it away. Naturally I fear the worst as young hedgehogs have less protection from their softer spines. Has anyone else seem this happen?22nd August 2022 at 10:03 am #39357
How distressing. I have cctv for watching the garden wildlife and in over 5 years of watching films from overnight (oh so many films) I’ve never seen a fox behave in this way. Having said that, I’ve not seen any hoglets around the foxes either, so the hogs must be aware of the fox threat to hoglets and have them somewhere else. The only hoglets I’ve seen were fully ‘prickled’. I have seen a hog bite a foxes tail tip as it passed by (a clear lunge). I have also seen (lots of times) foxes giving hedgehogs a wide berth, or even doing a retreating ‘moonwalk’. I hope the fox deposited the hoglet unharmed, not too far away. I would suggest that this is quite rare. The urban foxes in my garden seem to be terrified of anything bigger than a mouse.22nd August 2022 at 10:37 am #39359
Yes its first time I’ve seen this behaviour by a fox, and like you have been watching hedgehogs and foxes interacting on the garden trail cam for many years. I really do hope the little hog was deposited unharmed as you say. The fox was quite persistent on the first “attack” but a trail cam showed the hoglet escaped injury so I hope that was the outcome again. Thanks for replying. Mike22nd August 2022 at 3:14 pm #39371
Unfortunately foxes are starting to learn how to deal with hedgehogs.
It’s unlikely your hoglet will have survived this encounter, just from the bites alone. If you know where it was dropped you may get lucky and find it to get it help.
Small hoglets can actually be incredibly prickly but unless they can stay rolled up their bellies are just fur, and a foxes teeth are likely to have punctured them somewhere which will get infected if it’s not a mortal wound anyway.
It’s no longer a good idea to encourage both into your garden I’m afraid22nd August 2022 at 4:19 pm #39375
Its made me think a bit more about why foxes do come in the garden. I don’t encourage them by leaving food out and the hogs food is protected. I’ve noticed they do pick up leftovers from the bird feeders though so I’ll have to have a think how to stop the seed finding its way onto the floor. I don’t know where the foxes “home” is so there is no chance of knowing where the fox went or what happened to the hog, though I recognise it probably wasn’t a good outcome.23rd August 2022 at 12:17 pm #39388
An update and possibly good news. The small hog was back last night. I cant state categorically 100% its the same hog, but we only had one small animal visiting and its size is the same, I think it would have to be a very timely coincidence for it to be another one. The hog looked well eating and drinking on the trailcam with no signs of injury. Unfortunately they tend to come around midnight so I’m not up to have a closer look by inspection. Ill keep reviewing the video and if it starts to look sick will try to grab it.
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