Friday, April 26, 2019
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The foxes are back in the heart of the city

Foxes have been observed in Lille (illustration). – P.Cecil / Cover Images / SIPA

  • Wild foxes have been observed in the woods of the citadel of Lille.
  • The animal finds in urban parks areas of tranquility safe from hunters.
  • According to an ecologist, the fox's reputation as harmful is unfounded.

Lille, wild land. Do not be surprised if, following a walk in the woods of the citadel of Lille, you come face to face with a
fox. according to
an ecologist employed by the municipality, the species is in the process of reconquering the metropolis so much that it has once again found its place in the heart of the city. It would be rather good news.

"The fox is once again colonizing the territory because nature is opportunistic," explains Yohan Tison, ecologist with the Lille Parks and Gardens Department. "We have found recent traces of foxes at the Citadel. The observations of this animal are more and more frequent, "he says.

"Nature thus resumes its normal proportion"

In fact, it's not so amazing. "The Vulpine population is increasingly important in the city's major urban parks because hunting and trapping are prohibited. The foxes find a zone of tranquility and breed there. Nature thus resumes its normal proportion, "explains Yohan Tison. To get to the citadel, the foxes then follow corridors constituted, in particular, by embankments or railway wasteland.

For the ecologist, the proven presence of the fox in the city is good news: "It is an important animal for the ecosystem, mainly because it is a big consumer of small rodents and sick animals. It can be said that he has a sanitary role in nature. "

Bad reputation

Why, in this case, is this animal still classified as a pest? "It is the lobby of the hunters that is putting pressure on the government. The fox is only harmful for poultry houses when they are not closed, "insists the ecologist. It is also true that the goupil can be a vector of the parasitic disease
Alveolar echinococcosis, potentially fatal for humans. "Just like cats or dogs eating infested rodents," says Yohan Tison.

In any case, the foxes who have taken up residence in the citadel woods can sleep on their two big ears, the mayor does not intend to dislodge them. The only problem that could arise is the Lille Zoo. "When he falls on a bird, the fox is not going to ask the question if it is a rare species," jokes the ecologist. "Normally, the zoo is designed so that our species can not get out but also that outside animals can not enter. There were still some predations, especially on ducks, but it was the result of stray cats or rats, "says a head of Lille Zoo.

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