the Move - Red Fox
A Limited Edition Print
by artist Robert Bateman
23 1/2" x 11 7/8" 950 s/n
Red foxes seem to be doing very well. Their numbers are on the rise in many parts of their range, including the edges of London, England. (The red fox rivals the gray wolf for having the greatest natural distribution of any living terrestrial mammal besides man.)
This is, of course, because they are both wily and wary. Their intelligence allows them to take advantage of their home range to gather food and to escape dangers. They are very cautious of anything strange in the way of traps or intruders, and this is aided by their excellent senses of sight, smell and hearing (with their large and "well-tuned" ears turned to the direction of the slightest sound).
Until recent times, red foxes have been persecuted as vermin and for sport. Fox hunts are legendary as the so-called "sport of gentlemen." Foxes have shown great speed and endurance in giving the men on horseback and their mob of foxhounds a serious challenge. An account from 1844 by Ernest Thompson Seton tells of one such fox hunt with 30 riders and 100 hounds: "The pursuit of the flying beast was kept up for 13 hours, when the horses and the whole pack of hounds were broken down and the hunt was abandoned. Thus, after running back and forth over 100 miles, the wonderful creature made good his escape."
Fortunately, such sport has now virtually disappeared as has the fox's status of vermin with the advent of factory chicken farms. For most people, the sight of a flash of red fur is one of the thrills of the world of nature. -Robert Bateman
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