I went for a bike ride yesterday in the late afternoon and was presently surprised by encountering a red fox. I was going around a bike trail circling a football pitch. The field is part of a larger complex owned by the city. It consists of recreational facilities like tennis courts and it is adjoined to a military base. Most importantly for the fox, there is a significantly sized forest as well. I came around the curve and spotted the fox eating something near the edge of the field. I immediately noticed by the long tail and the shape of the head that it was not a dog. After snapping a few photos, it heard or smelt me and took off running. Before it hopped into the woods seeking cover, it stopped, turned and took a good look at me. It was then gone.
In researching the Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) I found out they do well in urban environments. For example, there are 10,000 foxes in metropolitan London. They are omnivores and feed on rodents and garbage scraps, both abundant in cities. They range from North and South America to Europe and Asia and North Africa, and are now a pest in Australia.
In Japan the red fox is known as kitsune. In Japanese folklore, they are associated with the Shinto kami (or spirit-god) Inari. Kitsune have the ability to shape shift into women and have magical powers. They are generally regarded as good and have a long association with the Japanese people.
It was thrilling to see such a large carnivore in the city. I was shocked to learn that foxes live so close to our home. I wonder what else is out there? This is why I maintain this blog and try to always have a camera on me, to capture these moments. Goodbye red fox, I hope we meet again.