Long has the tradition been of the grand fox hunt in England. Sir Winslow had been on many in his youth. As he grew older and his zoo enlarged he realized that he would like to include this creature instead of hunting it.
In the woods around the Windy Willows estate, you could spot them and their kits picking their way thru shrubbery, but you had to be very patient. Sir Winslow thought he had about 10 or 12 families of fox and decided to see if one of them was interested in living at the zoo.
As foxes adapt easily to most habitats, it wasn’t a problem for the first family to be persuaded. Having found a new resident for the zoo, Sir Winslow set about preparing a home for them. A den or “earth” was made in a small hill, very cozy for the mama fox and her 3 kits. The father “dog” would see to their protection and bring them food when the young ones were very small.
Each year Sir Winslow would ask which ones wanted to return to the woods and was always happy to escort them back to their former home. Each year a few would choose to stay and we can now see the descendants happily playing in the original place that was built for them at the zoo.
Here you can find our stuffed animal made from the sketches we found of the fox in Sir Winslow's field notes: Fox