Sarah would press the orange Alert Us button after going through a traumatic experience. His dog was killed by a wild fox in a park in Watermael-Boitsfort. Sophie wants to share this “increasingly recurring” phenomenon and try to protect other potential victims.
“Very touched“,”turned upside down“,”stirred“To tell the story of the experience she just had, Sarah does not lack qualifications.”I live in the district of La Hérronière, in Watermael-Boitsfort, which is a district located in a nature reserve. There’s a lot of green there, it’s very wild. There is even a pond with many ducks, which is also often exposed to danger“.
The danger she refers to is actually the concentration of wild foxes roaming in this area. And according to Sarah, they are a bit like home there: “There are many of them, they travel everywhere and are not afraid of people at all. Sometimes they walk a meter or two from us. We’re not very far from Sonian Forest, so they probably come from there“.
A terrible night
On March 23rd around 6pm it was still bright and Sarah took the opportunity to go for a walk with her little chihuahua Zazou in La Hérronière park. When she takes a short break and Zazou is only a few meters away from her, the unthinkable happens.
“The park is fenced, impossible for foxes to pass through. Except where I was, a barrier was broken and the fox took the opportunity to grab my shitn “, she explains, still marked by the event.”Everything happened very quickly, I hardly heard my dog whine when it was already over … I was with my sister, we looked around, we shouted her name, but nothing. The fox had probably already taken him to his hole“.
Despite the pain, Sarah intends to return to the scene to look for a trace of her dog. “We wanted to find the little jacket that Zazou was wearing, at least that. While researching on the internet, I found only one similar testimony. It seems that foxes do not attack dogs, it is very rare. But here my neighbor’s dog was also attacked “.
More frequent attacks
A priori we say timid foxes. They would theoretically not attack dogs. Sarah therefore has an explanation to give regarding the tragedy that happened to her. “My dog was so small that this fox may have mistaken him for a large rat. I learned that foxes feed on rodents. My neighbor’s dog was very similar to mine and he suffered the same fate as Zazou “.
Despite the ban, people continue to feed the foxes; they feel at home
Julie (assumed first name to guarantee desired anonymity) is Sarah’s neighbor. Her dog Django was attacked by a fox over a year ago and died instantly. “When I brought my dog’s remains home, the fox continued to follow me to my door …“.
She also sees the size of her dog as one of the reasons, but not only. “Despite the bans, people continue to feed the foxes. Suddenly they feel at home and settle down. Containment can also be a cause of these attacks. Fewer people were outside, so less waste. The foxes must then try to eat anything to survive. “.
Since his dog Django died in February 2021, his fight to better protect the dogs in the neighborhood has been tough. Few take the problem seriously and many doors close. “I contacted a lot of people. The police, the mayor, the municipality … The problem is making very little progress because the fox is a protected species, so it’s hard to do anything about it“.
“The fox is everywhere in Brussels”
Contacted by the editorial staff, the Brussels-Environment organization wanted to respond to this phenomenon: “We are currently only aware of any case of dogs that have been killed by a fox. It should also be noted that the fox does not necessarily come out as a winner in contact with dogs and cats.“, Explains Guy Rotsaert, natural scientist in the Department of Biodiversity in Brussels-Environment.
However, he admits a showcompetition“How does the fox feel when another animal is in its territory?”Spring is synonymous with breeding season. If the fox notices the presence of a competitor, both in terms of food and in terms of defending its young, near the cave, it will first try to scare the competitor out of the territory. If the competitor does not go, the protagonists get to the legs or even the teeth if necessary. “.
“We can say that the whole of the Brussels region is occupied by fox areas. It is therefore present all year round. We also do not recommend feeding the foxes directly and indirectly. It’s a good way to keep the fox loyal to a place, so it’s not a good ideaWarns the naturalist.