Gaspard, The Handsomest Fox in London visited one day with an injured leg. The name was chosen because it rhymes with Renard (the French for fox).
For a long time it was assumed she was a he - and then she brought the cubs to visit. It was an unexpected and magical connection to something wild in the middle of the city and over time a bond of trust has developed.
Gaspard is a facilitator of conversations with strangers, not just neighbours but with people all over the world and is to be the subject of a series of children's books written by Zeb and illustrated by James Mayhew, published on May 16th by Graffeg Books:
- Foxes are one of the most well known wild animals in the UK
- It is thought that there are 10,000 foxes in London and as many as 37 in every square kilometre
- The fox is a member of the dog family and a distant relative of the wolf
- Foxes are mostly active at night
- A female fox is called a vixen
- A male fox is called a dog
- A baby fox is called a cub or kit
- A group of foxes is called a skulk or leash
- Foxes are omnivorous which means they eat almost anything, even jam sandwiches; their usual diet is birds, worms, insects, fruit and small mammals such as mice and rats. In city areas, the food we throw away can make up more than half a fox’s diet.
- A fox’s home is called a den or 'earth'. Vixens dig their dens under tree roots or garden sheds
- Foxes hide or bury spare food to eat later, although another fox may find it first
- Foxes communicate with each other using 28 different types of calls
- A fox can run 30 miles per hour
- A fox tail is called a brush - there was a famous TV fox called Basil the Brush
- A fox's eyes are similar to a cat with narrow vertical pupils, this helps them to see at night.
- Foxes have amazing hearing, it is said they can hear a watch ticking nearly 40 metres away!
- Foxes have been spotted in the lifts or even in the carriages of the London Underground
- One smart fox, named Romeo was found living at the top of 'The Shard', Europe's tallest skyscraper when it was still being built, 288 metres (72 floors) off the ground!
Gaspard the Fox will be published by Graffeg Books, May 2018