Thursday, March 27, 2008

This Isn't Going To Be Pleasant.....

This photo isn't pleasant.
Unfortunately, it's a fact of life around here.
I know foxes kill our native animals and they do
awful, awful things to lambs, but it's not like
they mean it - there's no malice in their actions.
It's just the way God (evolution, the universe, whatever)
made them.
I know they need to be exterminated in Australia,
but is this necessary?
I've asked why people hang them on the fence like this
- but nobody seems to know.
I think I did read somewhere it is to deter other foxes
- I didn't know foxes were that smart!

Outskirts of Ararat - March, 2008


  1. Dingo trappers have done the same for a century or more. I reckon the dogs are pretty smart, but whether they get the message or not it's a pretty bizarre custom.

    Good to have recorded though!

  2. You capture the most fascinating images in your photos freefalling. I love it.

  3. Wow. Fascinating, honest, horrible. It's an image you had to put up and thanks for the warning. As to why it's done? I don't know, but it seems archaic to me and some traditions really ought to die. Like now.

  4. Really I am without words.... That is an unpleasant photo but necessary to warning the people about this cruelty with the animals. An amazing photo reportage, Letitia.

  5. Yeah pretty nasty but I guess to change the way things are done would probably take a generation or two.

  6. And they call us "civilized"...

  7. They may be drying the pelts.

    I have no problems with it. Life's sometimes not pretty.

    Foxes (and rabbits, and yep, EXCESSIVE kangaroos) are pests in this dry land.

  8. One proviso: If they are killed humanely, then hanging up a carcass is not cruelty. I don;t support cruelty in killing, or torture of animals.

  9. Y'know on reflection, I reckon it's a hangover (NO pun intended) of the days of game-keeping in the UK - foxes used to be displayed on fences, and is not much different to a trophy stag's head over a fireplace in your Scottish castle. All about bragging about your catch / kill. Fisherman mount their "catch" on boards (and there are those take-off novelty ones), big game hunters still want their prey displayed. Marlin hunters pose for photos next to their big fish on the scales...This is the average rural punter's yeah, it's pretty egotistical on the whole.

  10. Good point, Sally. And who am I to say? I live in the city. We get coyotes coming down the street and we don't kill them, but then again we don't have livestock unless you count pets. And anyone in the northern half of Pasadena who leaves their cats out at night is just asking for it.

  11. They used to do the same thing with tiger snakes on the dairy farms up in the north west of Tasmania (and probably still do). As a non-farm boy, it always struck me as a bit odd and gross, particularly as they would often be quite near the house and stink to high heaven.

    The best answer that I could get as to why the did it was "to serve as a warning to other snakes". This never satisfied me though, I struggle to believe that snakes could possibly get the hint to be honest.

    When pushed, most used to admit that it was more about bragging how many that you'd snagged. Very odd though.

    Maybe foxes would be more likely to pick up what is going on, but I agree with most here, it is unnecessary.

    Thanks for sharing the picture and story, yours are always interesting!

  12. Well Letitia, it may not be pleasant, but at least it earned you three comments from Sally... ;)))
    Thanks for your comments at Blogtrotter where I'm now strolling around Bilbao!
    Have a great weekend!

  13. Thanks everyone for taking the time to comment - I really appreciate hearing your views.

    The whole practice still has me somewhat flummoxed.
    Normally, I'm the type of person who can't stand nature documentaries coz it upsets me when the lions kill the prey of the week and while I find this pelt hanging kind of barbaric and unnecessary, I still find it strangely compelling.
    I'm not quite sure what that says about me!

  14. what I find fascinating is that we have an almost identical photo of Jackals hanging on a fence in the Karroo of South Africa.... (my husband posted it at

    seems whatever the reason, it is universal!

  15. This is an ancient tradition. You may recall that the roads leading into Rome were lined with the bodies of the crucified. Actually, streets lined with Cyprus trees are a symbolic reminder of this practice. Disturbing, and meant to be.

  16. Palm Axis, that's fascinating. Icky, but fascinating. You're a fountain of interesting stuff.


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