Foxes can be sly creatures that wreak havoc on anything they set their minds to. Car owners in London are doing everything they can to stop foxes from eating their motors.
Over the last few months, car owners on a quiet street in South East London, England, have been wrapping their motors in netting to stop foxes from eating them, causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. Tyre pressure monitors, sensors and electricity charging cables have also been chewed by the brazen vermin.
Locals have resorted to using planks, bricks and even wellies to try to deter the visitors who are unfazed by people or dogs. Dieter Riddall said he has spent over $2,700 repairing his Porsche SUV after foxes knawed on his vehicle twice.
“The first time I think they had a party under there. They took out the ABS cable. We put up netting but they got through that so I put up wooden barriers as well. It’s a rigmarole,” the 75-year-old said.
Alex Pascal reportedly spent $1,400 to fix the damage from three attacks on his Hyundai Tucson. To stop the animals, he bought an ultrasonic alarm designed to frighten foxes and greased his car’s cables with a supposed repellent but had no luck.
“I put the netting round and they got through and chewed the cables again,” the 34-year-old said, who caught the culprits on CCTV camera. “I had to add metal spikes to keep them away.”
Jack Cousens, the AA’s head of roads policy, said that the foxes may be attracted by the smell of the soy-based insulation on the wires. Petroleum-based insulation was replaced by the environmentally-friendly substance in 2000.
While theories of how the foxes arrived in the area vary from the change in insulation to a recently built housing estate which may have displaced animals, in actuality, a resident feeding the animals may be the contributing factor.
“Daft people have been feeding foxes and treating them as pets, reducing the fear threshold. They normally steer clear of humans and anything’s been touched by humans but if they are getting food given to them, that’s undermined,” animal psychologist Dr Roger Mugford said.