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Noises in the night

Hearing noises outside, unlike anything I had ever heard before, late one night, I went to investigate. The sound varied between almost sobbing, coughing and a plaintive moaning. I thought perhaps my cat had been involved in a fight and come home injured for me to rescue her.

I tracked the sound down to a corner behind a container with a large bush growing in it. My dog was very keen to investigate but I held him back as I pulled out the pot. I could see ginger fur and was anxious to keep the dog away as I thought it was an injured ferrule cat. I went inside to get a torch and on returning found a very young fox, terrified, hiding behind the plant pot. I said "hello, what are you doing there?" and decided to leave it to its own devices as I was not able to cope with a fox which might possibly be injured. It had disappeared next morning so I just hope it has survived. Another possibility is that it had an encounter with a ferrule cat and come of the worst. I shall never know.



  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,932
    Sounds like a female fox in heat.  I though we had gremlins in the garden the first time I heard them.  
    Utah, USA.
  • JoeXJoeX Posts: 1,783
    Car or other fox most likely.  Law of the jungle unfortunately.
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,999
    The sound of a fox "screaming" can be quite blood curdling!
  • Without being indelicate. would a vixen be in season at this time of year? I know they mate in the autumn ready to give birth early in the year. The first time I heard one calling I thought a woman was being strangled! This years cubs are only just going foraging for themselves now.

    It was about 1.00am in the morning so where I live there are practically no cars on the road, very rural here. Hadn't thought about another fox attacking a young pretender.

  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,932
    You're right, they won't be in heat yet.  I swear they 'practice' the noise year round though.   ;)
    Utah, USA.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,179
    At this time of year it'll be territorial squabbles as the cubs leave the den.
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    A month ago, about 2am I heard a sound like a fox was being tortured in the street. I lay there thinking, it's probably just in heat, but it went on and and on. I looked out of the window (!) and saw nothing so just went back to bed but it went on, howling, yowling and crying, sounding in pain. The next morning there was a dead fox outside my house. I'm not sure what I could have done if I had gone down, but it's not a comfortable thought to have dismissed an animal dying slowly through the night as mating - "just what foxes do" - and go back to sleep.

    I live near a big, ungated park and there is often lots of shouting and kerfuffle in the early hours, esp in the summer. Teenagers use the park for... eerr, all sorts of activity. As a meeting place. I've become a bit inured to screaming at 3am, which worries me.
  • That is a very sad story. Unfortunately that is life for wild animals when they live in close proximity to humans. Should any similar incident happen again contact the RSPCA who will know of wild life rescue groups close to where you live. They will come out any time, night or day, to help a wild animal in distress. Also, all vets will treat wild animals free of charge.

    I took a seagull to a vet when it had been hit by a car. The bird was put to sleep because of head injury at no cost to myself, unlike when I took a dog to a vet because I thought it had been hit by a car. It was a case of neglect with the coat of the dog so matted it couldn't walk properly. I was charged £30.00 for treatment, eye infection, ear infection, fleas etc. but I could not leave the dog as it was. The dog warden managed to reclaim the cost from the owner for me but that certainly does not happen very often.

    It is not wise to try and help wild animals yourself as they can be aggressive when in pain and some can carry infectious diseases.

  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    Yes, it's good to know. If I thought an animal or a person was in pain, I would now go out and check. Living in London, with so much shrieking around, it is hard to know. But better to be sure. I have stepped into several cases of domestic abuse happening in the street - women being threatened with violence. We have to step up.
  • I have reported a number of animals to the RSPCA and they always ask if you want a call back to let you know what has happened to the animal concerned. I have always said no as I leave it to them to look after the welfare of any animal. I do not know if rescue groups offer the same service.

    I followed the case of the dog because I took it home, bathed it and clipped it before being told she had to go back to her owner who was given a warning about her neglect. The family had a record of animal cruelty but it happened before the law regarding animals was improved.

     I know what happened to the bird because I was on foot in a park when I found it, picked it up and put it inside my jacket, head poking out under my chin, and drove it to my local vet. Must say I did have a few odd stares from passers by! The vet called me at home to let me know it had been put out of its misery.

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