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Chocoholic fox caught on camera stealing Easter eggs

Greg Gliddon, April 20, 2017 5:50PM Progress Leader

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A FANTASTIC Mr Fox has been poaching* eggs from a Melbourne front yard, but this fox has a taste for chocolate.

When Mary-Anne Cook woke on Easter Sunday morning she anticipated there would be between 25-30 Easter eggs in her front yard for the annual Easter egg hunt with her two children, aged eight and three, as had been in previous years.

But when the family woke and went on the hunt they could only find seven or eight eggs and Ms Cook couldn’t work out why there were so few eggs.

“We thought perhaps maybe an early morning walker had gone past and seen a few eggs and taken them on Easter Sunday,” Ms Cook said.

“We have CCTV and so we decided to check it and there was no sign of anyone walking up the driveway.”

But on closer inspection*, the real culprit* was revealed.

“We were looking at the vision and sure enough, there was a fox that came up and down the driveway and was taking eggs,” Ms Cook said.

“You could see him coming back and forth. The fox obviously was loving the chocolate because he kept on coming back for more. He took the whole eggs including the wrappers — there were no wrappers anywhere to be found.”

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Deakin University Department of Science, Engineering and Built Environment senior lecturer and fox expert Euan Ritchie described foxes as “generalists”.

“They are incredibly common in Melbourne and very opportunistic*,” Prof Ritchie said.

“Unlike dogs, it’s unknown whether something like chocolate is good for them or not, but if they see something, they will grab it.

Wild fox in NSW. Picture: Supplied media_cameraWild fox in NSW. Picture: Supplied

“They are also incredibly good at hiding, more so than possums, they live in stormwater drains, under houses and are very nocturnal*. They only come out late at night. If you were around late at night, you would be shocked at how many are around.”

GLOSSARY

poaching: stealing

inspection: look

culprit: criminal

opportunistic: takes advantage of situations

nocturnal: active at night

LISTEN TO TODAY’S STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

Activity 1.

Imagine that you are the fox. Write the story about discovering the eggs from your point of view.

Time: allow 25 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum Links: English

Extension:

The Fantastic Mr Fox is a book by Roald Dahl. It is about a fox who outwits three farmers who are trying to catch him.

What is your favourite story about an animal from a book or movie? Write paragraphs describing the story and why it is your favourite.

Time: allow 25 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum Links: English

Activity 2.

Although we don’t know if chocolate is bad for foxes, we do know that it is toxic for dogs. This means that chocolate can make them very sick.

Write five tips for dog owners that will help them keep their pets safe over Easter.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum Links: Health and Physical Education

Extension:

What other nocturnal animals can be found where you live?

Discuss this with your class and list as many as you can.

Create a poster that will help people who live in your area learn about all of the nocturnal animals they might find.

Time: allow 60 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum Links: Science

VCOP ACTIVITY

(Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation)

Write a letter to the Easter bunny describing the culprit Mr Fox.

You can either just describe Mr Fox or describe how he might have snuck into the yard in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning to steal the eggs.

Don’t forget to use your descriptive language, and phrases of time or place to create a clear picture for the Easter bunny

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity

Curriculum Links: English, Big Write and VCOP

Activity provided by Andrell Education www.andrelleducation.com.au

EXTRA RESOURCES

HIPPOS HELP ON DENTAL HEALTH

BABY BANDICOOTS FIGHT EXTINCTION

MAGIC OF UNDERWATER

TIGER CAM CAPTURES PREY’S-EYE VIEW

KIDS’ HOLIDAY MOVIE GUIDE

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