Increased fox sightings in local area during Melbourne’s current curfew have sparked genuine fears of further thong and baseball thefts. Why such specific targets for a potential crime spree you ask? Well, back in January last year, Watsonia made national news after a resident captured CCTV footage of a light-pawed fox visiting their front porch to steal a thong and a baseball, shaking the local community to its very core. At the height of its fame, the so-called “Watsy Foxy” was selected to become the face of a proposed theme park to be built at Binnak Park.
The Watsonia Bugle’s inbox has been inundated with reports of fox sightings in recent weeks. And local wildlife experts are still trying to decide whether the local fox population has become emboldened due to less human movement outside of curfew hours, or more people are going for walks in the early morning to escape the house for their designated one hour a day.
Prominent anthrozoologist, Professor Anthony Jenkins, conceded a sense of inevitability that animals would start to reclaim the streets after dark during the curfew. He said, “It might take them a week or so to adapt, but once they realise that the vast majority of people are locked away in their homes from 8pm onwards, and hardly any cars are on local roads, they’ll start to assume the position of apex predators. Within weeks, the local fox population will most likely be owning the streets.”
Regardless of the cause for the increased activity, community members are growing more concerned about the potential return of the Watsy Foxy and multiple other foxes with an equally enthusiastic taste for a life of crime. One resident, who requested anonymity due to fear of revenge attacks from the foxes, has said, “I don’t want to say too much, but what I will say is everyone should be clearing their front porch before retiring for the night. Those guys will take anything. Sometimes I think they just steal for stealing’s sake. Like drunk people stealing drinking glasses from pubs. They do it for the thrill, nothing else.”