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Noah foxes – from Erika Boldán
2011.08.12.

Two cats are looking at the neighbour kennel surprised where dogs and foxes starts to play in abandon. Dog-fox friendship? It is good to see these animals, who are thought to be enemies, cavorting and softly biting each other - fighting or attacking is out of the question. Well, yes. This is how it works in Noah’s Animal Shelter where besides foxes, badgers live as well. Dogs sometimes visit foxes to have a small party; they might as well take some little gifts with them. And visitors of the shelter are just staring at them astonished together with the cats.





It took a long way until then and the beginning was not very easy either. The beginning: when the caretakers with the leadership of Zoli decided to establish a fox shelter. At that time many people might have thought it was a silly idea: foxes are wild animals, why do they need a shelter? Now, as the fox shelter has been working organised for more than half a year, those who were sceptical can calm down. It is a unique invention not only in Hungary but in whole Europe or probably in the world. How do foxes get in here? People who love animals (because there are some...) often save them from irresponsible people’s passion. These foxes do trust us…in spite of having terrible memories: their mother was killed by a man or they were preys of hunting dogs.



They arrived to the shelter torn, half-dead and with hurting bodies. They would have all reasons for fear and distrust. But they might remember only the fact that there was a man who saved their lives. Someone who treated them, fed them, hugged them and supported them and now they belong to these men.



I am inspecting their lives from the corner of the fence and I am trying to think back. How was it? Some years ago when the first little saved inhabitants arrived to the shelter, nobody thought once they would have a place totally similar to their natural habitat. But the cooperation of the people and the financial help could establish a comfortable place for these little guys. There is a high cottage, a bungalo and a warren. This is a place that gives safety for the inhabitants and the fence helps keeping a distance from the people. Foxes, badges and racoons live here in peace and can choose from different „houses” to live in. All of them have found the best for themselves. I remember the day when the fox shelter was ready and the animals living in cages until then could move into their new home. It was a celebration for both people and animals. Since it was Christmas time, it was a present for all of us. The foxes were running around happily and curiously sniffing and hiding themselves. And we, who saw this remembered the beginning and the nice memories and adventures with one the foxes.



Those people who have been cleaning and decorating the fox shelter also take care of the foxes. They do not understand how other people can kill or torture these animals because of cruelty or sport. Since foxes are so similar to our friends, the dogs. And is there anyone who has not rubbed a puppy yet…I am looking at one of the red balls running towards me. Its steps are silent; he is looking at me curiously with his warm, brown eyes. Who is he? Rikács? Pogi? Tipli? They look so similar. The three brothers were born in a farm; their mother died or left them. When the little foxes arrived to the shelter they had to be fed by gavage. There was always someone with them for taking care of, hugging, stroking and loving them.



They grew up and not they are running and playing in front of me. They welcome me as a friend and come to me frisking for a gentle touch and a delicious bite. They flirt until they get into our lap and then they simply sit on our shoulder, dig into our hair with their nose or just run around our neck. The one, who leaves this experience, loses a lot (As those who do not watch the cartoon, Vuk. Children and some adults should be educated by this film about animal loving. I would have it watched in schools.)



Later, one of the little foxes disappears in his house after getting tired in playing. He looks happy. He is safe here; neither the hunters’ hands nor the dogs’ teeth can reach him. That is why animals living here cannot be left free. National parks or environment reserves do not give them safety. Happy life is not ensured for them at these places. They got used to people. They got used to us who tamed them and who are responsible for them. The foxes cannot make any difference between good and bad people. Sometimes we neither can do.

Boldán Erika



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