DEVSAR, KULGAM: A Himalayan Red Fox wandered into house of Jan Mohammad, an employee of the Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife Department in the Akhran village of Devsar in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district. The animal wandered into the human habitation for the want of food as recent snowfall has blanketed much of South Kashmir’s hills and forests.
Syed Irshad Hussain said that he was with his friend at his house in Akhran at 5 pm when they heard an unusual sound. “The animal vaulted over the boundary wall possibly in the search of poultry,” he said. “We went out in a hurry and looked at the creature who almost froze in its tracks and stared back at us for a few seconds before making off in a sprint. I took as many pictures as I could and also attempted to get further close to get better high quality pictures.”
Hussain said that the animal was very common in areas of South Kashmir and that his stray into human habitations meant that recent snowfall must have caused food shortage high up in the hills as a result of which he must have been climbed down to prey on poultry. “They are found in large numbers in Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary in Shopian,” he said.
Listed as least concerned by IUCN, Red Fox is distributed across the entire Northern Hemisphere including most of North America, Europe and Asia, plus parts of North Africa. Speaking to The Kashmir Walla, Wildlife Warden, Shopian, Intesar Suhail said that it was a common animal distributed in abundance in these areas. “However, it’s a nocturnal animal and cannot be seen when there’s still some light. It’s normal for Red Fox to prey on poultry. In local language, it’s called Loh. Although in comparison to Jackal, it lives at a relatively higher altitude.”
Wildlife Warden, Anantnag, Rouf Zargar said that Red Foxes were common in areas of Kulgam and Shopian. “They are not harmful. It’s a usual occurrence to see them wandering into streets. I have not seen the pictures yet and I will verify the reports,” he said.