I was immediately intrigued since as a little kid I encountered story book Foxy Loxy of Henny Penny notoriety and the real version on my grandparents’ farm – somewhat unwelcomed by the grown-ups as we had chooks, I’ve been fond of them.
Many years ago, at my ex-in-laws the resident farm fox would come some evenings to accept a meal of raw meat bones, and romp on the lawn with their very timid Maltese Terrier.
And, not so long ago one of the local fox population at Taylors Arm having exhausted as a food source the village’s entire complement of poultry made friends with the human residents, becoming quite familiar with its benefactors and welcome of a meal.
Fox fascination continued into adulthood. I discovered the Little Fur children’s books series by Isobelle Carmody – book 2 is A Fox Called Sorrow. Franky Furbo by William Wharton remains one of my favourite novels. “During WW II, a dying American soldier, William Wiley, and his German captor, Wilhelm Klug, are miraculously rescued by a fox endowed with extraordinary powers, Franky Furbo.” And family history research turned up the gem that one of my mother’s ancestors, originating from Prussia, were a family by the name of Voss meaning fox in Low German.
Frederick Joseph Herman VOSS born 1830 in the Grand Duchy of Mecklenberg-Schwerin, Germany (Prussia). Fred Voss’ father – name unknown – was a farmer who hired himself out as a mercenary soldier under Napoleon. In 1812 it is said that he went with Napoleon’s “Grand Armee” to Russia, on the infamous march to Moscow. [Source: Obit of F. Voss ‘Inverell Times’ June 26, 1936] Fred Voss married Dorothy (Johanna Doratea FLANZE (or PHRANZE)) in 1859[?] Alshue, Germany. Shortly after arrival to Australia in c 1854-55 via ship “Daniel Ross” ex Hamburg, the Voss family was obliged by the Australian Govt of the time to undergo naturalisation, and to anglicise their German names. The family made their way up from Port of Sydney in colony of NSW to vicinity of Moree, Gunnedah and Narrabri. First the family lived on ‘Gurley Station’ where Frederick worked as a shepherd and farmer. Later the family moved up to the Glen Innes area. Fred & Dorothy VOSS had 6 children, 1. *Otte Nickelark Marks, a twin to sister, 2. Dor – both born Germany, 3. Frederick b. 1856 Gurley Station, 4. Hammon Henry b. 1862 Wee Waa a twin of 5. Anna Dorothea, and 6. Emma Christina b. 1862 Wellingrove.
*Nicholas Otto’s daughter Ellen Madaline Voss (b 1884) was my mother’s father’s mother, so my great-grandmother.
Before my enthusiasm about fox rescue overtook my faculties I checked the Sydney Fox Rescue website http://www.sydneyfoxrescue.com. It’s informative, plain-speaking and down-to-earth.
Red Foxes aren’t native to Australia. They were introduced to Australia in the early 1800’s for the purpose of the traditional English sport of fox-hunting. They now pose a serious conservation problem. Current estimates indicate that there are more than 7.2 million red fox with a range extending throughout most of the continental mainland, including in the middle of cities.
“It is illegal to keep foxes outside NSW… in New South Wales you do not need a license or permit to own a fox (as a category 5 animal) under the Non-Indigenous Animals Regulation 2012. As foxes are not currently a declared pest under the Local Land Services Act 2013, there is no legal obligation for land managers to control them. Foxes may be kept in captivity, but it is an offence under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 revised 2009 to release them.”
The website states “it is important to remember foxes from Fox Rescue Sydney are not pets, they are permanent wild rescues”.
“Sydney Fox Rescue rescues and re-homes foxes in an effort to reduce the number of wild foxes preying on native wildlife… We’re removing a problem from the wild in the most humane way possible. We’re all about providing an alternative to hunting, poisoning or snaring but at the same time preserving the native environment”
While I cannot adopt a fox… although I’m sure my sister-landlord would support me – after all she did for 6 months inhabit the same apartment with her partner, a cat, a bird and a snake… however the body corporate wouldn’t be so accommodating. I’ll look into volunteering, and the least I can do send funds the way of Sydney Fox Rescue and share the info & link to the website… http://www.sydneyfoxrescue.com, it’s just amazing.