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2018-09-14 19:30:48
"fox damage" from gerrym Contract pics
Picture: fox damage (Contract pics)

Foxy Business
I am wondering what encounters there have been out there with foxes. This week I had an interesting encounter with a tenacious fox whilst wild camping in the Mournes. From comments on social media it is by no means an isolated incident, with instances of foxes ripping into occupied tents in the Mournes to get at food.

So here is how the story goes..... I was lying in my bivy beside Ben Crom resevior in the Mournes gazing up at a sky packed full of stars, a couple of shooting stars and a few satellites whizzing past at thousands of miles an hour and I went to sleep with a clear head and a contented smile.

I woke at 3am as you do and noticed my pack was missing. I started to panic "who was here" "How will I get my gear home". Then I heard a noise and in the light of the head torch some 30 ft away a fox was busy chewing at my ruccsac, where it had dragged it. I think I was more panicked than the fox as I let a yell. I retrieved the bag to find the fox had chewed a hole to get at the food (must have been the snickers bar!). I could still see the eyes of the fox reflected in my head torch as settled back I'm my sleeping bag.

I had another visit where the fox made off with my saucepan which I found the next morning across the River. I covered everything with rocks and settled down again only to be awoken by the sound of rocks moving - literally one foot from my head covering the rucsac. Again I woke up in the pitch black in the middle of the mountains shouting at and chasing a fox.

I had a chat with the Chair of the Mourne Heritage Trust at Meelmore Lodge and he also recounted a couple of stories, both at the campsite and in the mountains. Is this confined to the Mournes or have there been similar instances elsewhere in Ireland?
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