Editorial: They're not all as friendly as Basil Brush

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It will not be much consolation to the family concerned to know that it is highly unusual for a fox to attack a small child in its cot. Nor should outsiders be too censorious about people living in suburbs close to the countryside who leave a door or a window open. Nowadays foxes are routinely spotted in city centres, trying their luck at half-open rubbish bins or just taking a stroll, and there is a reason why they have the reputation of being cunning.

Certainly, what seems to be an increasing incidence of fox attacks in unlikely places should underline the need for elementary precautions. But it also serves as a reminder of how close nature, red in tooth and claw, can be even to the urban-dwelling majority who believe they have left the wilderness far behind. And there is something salutary in that. Not all animals in our proximity can be tamed. There remain places where the wild things are.

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