Whales and dolphins lead ‘human-like lives’ thanks to big brains, says study

The cultural brain hypothesis of human development could also explain cetaceans forming friendships and even gossiping

Life is not so different beneath the ocean waves. Bottlenose dolphins use simple tools, orcas call each other by name, and sperm whales talk in local dialects. Many cetaceans live in tight-knit groups and spend a good deal of time at play.

That much scientists know. But in a new study, researchers compiled a list of the rich behaviours spotted in 90 different species of dolphins, whales and porpoises, and found that the bigger the species brain, the more complex indeed, the more human-like their lives are likely to be.

This suggests that the cultural brain hypothesis the theory that suggests our intelligence developed as a way of coping with large and complex social groups may apply to whales and dolphins, as well as humans.

Writing in the journal, Nature Ecology and Evolution, the researchers claim that complex social and cultural characteristics, such as hunting together, developing regional dialects and learning from observation, are linked to the expansion of the animals brains a process known as encephalisation.

The researchers gathered records of dolphins playing with humpback whales, helping fishermen with their catches, and even producing signature whistles for dolphins that are absent suggesting the animals may even gossip.

Another common behaviour was adult animals raising unrelated young. There is the saying that it takes a village to raise a child [and that] seems to be true for both whales and humans, said Michael Muthukrishna, an economic psychologist and co-author on the study at the London School of Economics.

Dolphins
Dolphins off the coast of South Africa. Photograph: Rainer Schimpf/Barcroft Media

Like humans, the cetaceans, a group made up of dolphins, whales and porpoises, are thought to do most of their learning socially rather than individually, which could explain why some species learn more complex behaviours than others. Those predominantly found alone or in small groups had the smallest brains, the researchers led by Susanne Shultz at the University of Manchester wrote.

Luke Rendell, a biologist at the University of St Andrews who was not involved in the study, but has done work on sperm whales and their distinctive dialects, warned against anthropomorphising and making animals appear to be like humans.

There is a risk of sounding like there is a single train line, with humans at the final station and other animals on their way of getting there. The truth is that every animal responds to their own evolutionary pressures, he said.

There is definitely a danger in comparing other animals to humans, especially with the data available. But what we can say for sure, is that this cultural-brain hypothesis we tested is present in primates and in cetaceans, Muthukrishna said.

There was still much more to learn, though, he added. Studies with underwater mammals are difficult and vastly underfunded, so there is so much we dont know about these fascinating animals, he said.

The fascination, however, should not only be interesting for people studying animals. We dont have to look at other planets to look for aliens, because we know that underwater there are these amazing species with so many parallels to us in their complex behaviours, said Muthukrishna.

Studying evolutionarily distinct animals such as cetaceans could act as a control group for studying intelligence in general, and so help the understanding of our own intellect.

It is interesting to think that whale and human brains are different in their structure but have brought us to the same patterns in behaviour, Rendell said. The extent of how this is close to humans can educate us about evolutionary forces in general.

However, Muthukrishna points out that intelligence is always driven by the environment an animal finds itself in. Each environment presents a different set of challenges for an animal. When you are above water, you learn how to tackle fire, for example, he said. As smart as whales are, they will never learn to light a spark.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

100,000 Flying Foxes Are Causing Chaos In A Small Australian Town

This is the story of flying fox bats, “waving man” inflatables, and an Australian seaside town.

The quaint town of Batemans Bay in New South Wales, Australia has been swamped with over 100,000 grey-headed flying fox bats. After several months of the towns new residents, the infuriated locals are now hoping to get rid of their unwelcome guests through a AUS$6.2 million ($4.5 million) action plan, full of bizarre ideas.

This species of megabat in question has a 1-meter (3.3-foot) wingspan and can grow up to 28 centimeters (11 inches) in height, making them the largest bat in Australia.

Reuters reports that the huge numbers of thisbat are causing power outages, affecting the town’stourism industry, and driving down property prices. On top of this, their loud squawks and bad smell is further adding to their constant nuisance in the town.

New South Wales Environment MinisterMark Speakmantold ABC News, “We’ve had many residents complain, they feel they’re prisoners in their own homes, they can’t go out, they have to have air conditioning on the whole time, windows closed.

He added,”[The circumstances] really amount almost to a state of emergency.”

Part of the problem lies in the fact that these bats are a protected species under numerous conservation acts. The authorities believe the bats have swarmed to this south-eastern coastal holiday town following a heavy flowering of native trees that contain their favorite food, nectar.

However, help is on its way. The local government has released a plan-of-action report. Among their suggestions of how to tackle the problem the report includes using smoke, radar signals, or noise to disturb the bats, as well as spraying trees with an animal deterrent. But most novel of allis the use of “waving man” inflatables to scare off the bats. Yes, wacky waving, inflatable, arm-flailing tube men.

Bats, be gone.Graeme Dawes/Shutterstock

Photo Gallery

Source: http://www.iflscience.com

Mozambique: 6,000 animals to rewild park is part-funded by trophy hunting

Donation of animals by Zimbabwe wildlife conservancy to rewild war-torn park could not have happened without big-spending hunters

Call it Noahs Ark on lorries. Dozens of trucks rolled over the Zimbabwe savanna carrying elephants, giraffe, African buffalo, zebras, and numerous other large iconic mammals. Driving more than 600km of dusty roadway, the trucks will deliver their wild loads to a new home: Zinave national park in Mozambique. The animals are a donation from Mozambiques Sango Wildlife Conservancy a gift that the owner, Wilfried Pabst, says would not be possible without funds from controversial trophy hunting.

In remote places and countries with a weak tourism industry and a high unemployment rate, it is very difficult or almost impossible to run a conservancy like Sango without income from sustainable utilisation, Pabst said.

Sustainable utilisation means the use of wildlife for hunting or trophy hunting. Pabst, who purchased Sango in 1993 and opened its doors 10 years later, says that trophy hunting provides approximately 60% of the revenue required to keep Sango running every year. Another 30% comes out of the German businessmans own pockets.

While Sango does welcome non-hunting tourists, Pabst says it is not possible to attract enough in this remote area to equal the revenue made by trophy hunters willing to travel to pay tens of thousands of dollars to shoot iconic megafauna, includingNile crocodiles, elephants and lions.

Sango to Zinave

Over the next six years, Pabst will donate 6,000 large mammals from Sango to Zinave as part of the Peace Park Foundations programme to rewild a vast tract of land in the Great Limpopo Transfrontier conservation area (TFCA).

Mozambiques 15-year-long civil war left its once world-renowned parks almost empty of any animal large enough to shoot and eat, but numerous efforts today are working to bring back animals to Mozambique, often transporting them from either neighboring South Africa or Zimbabwe.

But, Masha Kalinina, a trade policy specialist with the Humane Society International, said the plan to transport thousands of animals across Zimbabwe to Mozambique was misguided and potentially deadly for individual animals. Indeed, such transports are not without risk: an elephant died last year en route to Zinave from South Africa.

Mozambique continues to have one of the highest rates of poaching in southern Africa, she said. Mozambique lost nearly half of its elephants to poachers in five years.

Now both South Africa and Zimbabwe are transporting their own animals to this park just so that they may die at the hands of either trophy hunters or poachers. Is that what we are calling conservation? Kalinina asked.

Giraffe
Giraffe at Sango. Photograph: Eric De Witt/Sango Wildlife Conservancy

Still, there is little chance of rewilding Zinave without bringing animals overland. A similar transportation project was done for Mozambiques Gorongosa national park though nowhere near this scale and it succeeded in bringing new species that had been lost during the war. While poaching is particularly high in parts of Mozambique, it is also a pressing concern in Zimbabwe and most other countries few African mammals live beyond the cloud of the global poaching crisis.

Pabst say he is not making any revenue from the donation of 6,000 mammals but views it as a part of Sangos commitment to wildlife conservation in Africa. The funding for transporting the animals, which includes a small army of veterinarians, rangers, ecologist, truck drivers and helicopter pilots, is coming from the Peace Park Foundation.

Sango is at the center of Zimbabwes Sav Valley conservancy, in remote eastern Zimbabwe. A few decades ago, Sav Valley nearly the size of Cornwall was overrun by cattle. Now, it is bustling with herds of iconic African species, including 160 rhinos that require constant guarding against poachers.

Pabsts Sango covers about 17% of Sav Valley and is run under whats known as a bilateral investment promotion and protection agreements (BIPPA), which allows Pabst to manage the conservancy privately via permission from the Zimbabwe government, including setting quotas for trophy hunters.

Kalinina contends that Sav Valley Conservancy is nothing more than a profit-driven wildlife ranch stocked with wild animals. She says they are not doing this for conservation but to sell animals to globetrotting trophy hunters.

Blood sport or conservation?

Trophy hunting has been controversial for decades, but the issue took on a new global awareness last year after the killing of Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe went viral. Despite the fact that around 600 lions are killed yearly in Africa by trophy hunters, something about this particular story and this lion captured the publics attention.

Kalinina said despite the attempt by hunting groups to greenwash it, trophy hunting is unethical, cruel, a threat to non-consumptive tourism like wildlife watching, offers no long-term conservation benefits, and provides minimal economic and employment value.

For his part, Pabst insists that Sango couldnt survive without trophy hunting. He said if trophy hunting were suddenly outlawed in Zimbabwe as some organisations may wish his operation would run out of money within months and most of the 200,000 animals will be poached probably within one year.

While trophy hunters, by definition, shoot to bring a trophy home, the meat of the animal killed is often eaten as well. In Africa, the meat is usually shared with local communities. Although there are some animals you typically dont eat: lions, leopards and rhino. Elephants are only eaten in some places.

The only two large animals that are not hunted in Sango are African wild dogs and rhinos, because these endangered species are protected in the country.

We exclude additional species from hunting as the situation dictates, Pabst added.

Sango keeps a close track of its animals. Depending on the species, Sango allows hunting of approximately between 0.2-1% of an animals total population annually.

Sustainable [hunting] means that the off take will neither hinder the growth, nor allow any given species to fall below ecologically sustainable numbers, Pabst explained. This is a highly complex issue and very difficult to understand for a non-conservationist operating in Africa.

In total, Pabst says around 200 animals are hunted in Sango annually or one 10th of 1% of the parks estimated 200,000 mammals.

These regulations and their strict control at Sango is the key factor of successful management through sustainable use which now [allows] us to donate 6,000 of our animals to Zinave, he said.

The International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC), a global not-for-profit organisation that advocates for conservation and hunting, says that hunting tourism is an important tool to combat one of the biggest threats to African wildlife: poaching.

Zebras
Zebras at Sango. Photograph: Sango Wildlife Conservancy

They argue that so long as local communities benefit in some way from hunting funds through jobs, payouts, or developing projects they are far less likely to poach wildlife such as elephants and lions that they view as dangerous or destructive to their livelihood.

What would these local people [have] turned to in absence of alternative employment? Poaching! a spokesperson for CIC wrote in an email. As strange as it sounds, yes, the hunting of a few individual animals leads to the conservation of the species, killing of an animal saves the species.

Pabst say Sango is living proof that trophy hunting can support broad conservation goals.

But Kalinina contends that trophy hunters only support conservation to buy themselves public acceptance.

One wonders, take away the thrill of the kill … would trophy hunters still invest in protecting our planets last remaining wildlife?

Conflicting evidence

Hunting proponents, however, contend that its animal rights activists who dont realise their actions are actually hurting conservation not helping it.

Kenyas wildlife areas have decreased by almost 80% since the 1977 hunting ban was imposed, while at the same time being home to some 200 NGOs trying unsuccessfully to repair the damage done, Probst said.

Hunting advocates commonly point to Kenya as an example of what happens when hunting is banned: they say habitat shrinks, populations decline, animals vanish because the economic incentive for local communities and the government to keep alive evaporates eco-tourism just doesnt pay enough to keep animals alive and secure habitat, according to them.

The reality, though, is complicated.

Black
A black rhinoceros with young one, shortly before sunset, at Sweetwaters in Kenya. The countrys wildlife population has plummeted over the last four decades, but so have many nations in Africa. Photograph: Angelika/Getty Images

Kenya is hardly the only African nation to see a catastrophic decline in wildlife: a grim study in 2010 found that Africas big mammals had declined on average by 59% over the last 40 years and this was inside protected areas.

The reasons were complex according to scientists: habitat loss due to expanding agriculture and poaching for bushmeat or to feed the illegal wildlife trade, but underlying all of this: explosive human population growth.

Kenya, like most African countries, has seen human population rise at a shocking rate in the past 40 years. In 1977, Kenya had 14.5 million people; today it has more than 48 million people. This trend is similar across Sub-Saharan Africa, whose population has basically tripled since 1977, hitting a billion people in 2015. This rise in human populations has placed crushing pressure on the continents wildlife.

Parks in southern Africa fared best in 2010 study, but the researchers noted that this region also had lower population densities and spent more money on its parks than its neighbours. The worst hit areas were West and Central African countries a staggering 85% decline in wildlife including a number of nations which allow trophy hunting.

So, while hunting policy undoubtedly plays a role in animal populations, whether for the positive or negative its likely a more minor one than either critics or advocates claim.

Like so many things: the devil is in the details. Hunting proponents argue that trophy hunting is essential to conservation efforts but this argument only holds water if money actually makes its way to local communities or helps secure and manage habitat. Levies on trophy hunting may be important revenue for governments, but will only aid species if that money is then funneled back into conservation efforts and protected area management something that is difficult to measure in many countries given high levels of corruption and other pressing priorities.

A US congressional report by democrats on the committee on natural resources concluded, unsurprisingly, that trophy hunting is managed well in some areas and poorly in others.

In many cases, the laws, institutions, and capacity necessary to make trophy hunting benefit conservation are lacking, the report continues.

A 2009 report by the IUCN an organisation that supports trophy hunting found similar mixed results. Though its take away message was more damning: hunting does not … play a significant economic or social role and does not contribute at all to good governance. The report criticised the sector for supporting few jobs, bringing little money to locals, and benefiting a few at the expense of the many.

Still, one country that seems to have found a positive way to link conservation with trophy hunting is Namibia. Here, local communities have been given local control over communal land giving them an economic incentive to manage animal populations both for tourism and trophy hunting. Money goes directly to the local families who live with the animals. Now, Namibia is one of the few places in Africa where animal populations are on the rise.

Both sides of the argument like to claim they have science and facts on their side, but things are never so simple.

Research on the subject tends to assert that trophy hunting might support conservation but the key here is might. It depends on how well the programme is run and who is really benefiting. Scientists are concerned not only by some programmes that allow too many animals to be killed, but also the evolutionary consequences of trophy hunters often targeting the biggest and most impressive animals.

At the same time, many of the worlds major conservation groups including WWF, the Nature Conservancy, and the IUCN continue to support trophy hunting, in part because they view the hunting community as a key ally in advancing conservation.

As the debate simmers, one country to keep an eye on is Botswana. Botswana announced a ban on hunting in 2014, but it has come with costs. The plan included no exemption for Botswanas indigenous populations, such as the San People, that have depended on game meat for millennia. Many have been arrested and beaten simply for hunting on their ancestral land (the government has announced it is rethinking this policy). Some villages have reportedly seen job declines due to lost revenue in trophy hunting. At the same time, Botswana maintains some of the strongest populations of African wildlife on the continent and is hugely popular with tourists.

Kalinina pointed to Great Plain Conservation, an initiative run by National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert, as an example of how to move beyond trophy hunting. Great Plains often purchases private hunting concessions to turn them into luxury photo-only tourism areas. Renowned lion experts, the Jouberts have long been critical of trophy hunting.

While killing one lion may generate $15,000-$30,000, the value of that animal to photographic tourism may be as much as $2m during the lions lifetime, said Kalinina.

But you first have to get tourists and for Pabst, thats a problem in remote, lesser visited Zimbabwe.

Goals

Peoples views of animals are undergoing a transformation. As a society, we are finally recognising that the worlds non-human species are not the automatons that Rene Descartes insisted they were a view that tainted animal science for centuries. Instead, we now know that other animals experience complex emotions, experience suffering and many show surprising levels of intelligence (the number of animals known to use tools rises every year).

In this debate, animal rights groups have moral outrage and increasingly, it seems, the public on their side. There havent been a lot of polls taken on the issue of trophy hunting, but a poll in 2015 found that 84% of Albertans and 91% of British Canadians, including those living in rural areas, opposed trophy hunting. Try to think of another issue in which 80-90% of people polled would agree?

Another poll found that 62% of Americans believe big-game sport hunting should be outlawed, including 32% of American hunters.

It may be that both trophy hunters and animal rights activists have something in common, though. Conservation is an important, but largely secondary, concern to both.

Workers
Workers prepare animal skins in front of animal trophys at the taxidermy studio in Pretoria. Photograph: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Many animal rights activists see establishing the rights of animals as the ultimate goal. If conservation suffers from doing this (due to a plunge in funding), it may be a risk that many activists see as worth taking.

On the other hand, many trophy hunters view the experience of the hunt as paramount. If the hunt promotes conservation all the better, but it may not be the primary goal when looking at an outfitter or pulling the trigger.

Still, if the goal really is conservation, it comes down to money. If animal rights groups want to eliminate trophy hunting in Africa without potentially undercutting some vital conservation efforts they have to find alternative revenue streams that can make up for the gap, especially in places like remote Zimbabwe.

On the other hand, if trophy hunters want to keep shooting they need to convince the world their hobby isnt a self-indulgent blood sport. They need to make sure hunting concessions are actually benefiting local people and the long-term survival of local species. They need to prove they are conservation-focused by demanding much better from the industry.

Conservation is a great challenge that can only be achieved if we perceive Africa differently, Pabst said.

Indeed, Africa is the only continent that didnt see a widespread extinction of its megafauna in the last 10,000 years as such it is a time capsule of a truly lost world, a place of giants. But its vanishing. Throughout most of Sub-Saharan Africa, habitat loss represents one, if not, the biggest threats to species. But here is Zinave national park: a habitat the size of Rhode Island thats just waiting for animals to return.

Kenyan
Kenyan wildlife rangers stand near the carcass of an elephant, in Tsavo East, Kenya. Poaching is one of the biggest threats to animals worldwide. Photograph: Khalil Senosi/AP

And over the next eight weeks, Pabst in one of the biggest overland transports of African animals yet will be sending 900 impalas, 300 wildebeests, 200 zebras, African buffalo, and eland antelopes, 100 giraffes, and 50 kudus. Even 50 African elephants will be making their way to Zinave. If all goes according to plan: Zinave will be wild and full again.

And such stories just prove: nothing in conservation is black and white. Well, except the zebras.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Snake on a plane: reptile panics passengers on Mexico City flight

Plane gets priority landing after large serpent appears on ceiling of the cabin before dropping to the floor

Passengers on a commercial flight in Mexico were given a start when a serpent appeared in the cabin in a scene straight out of the Hollywood thriller Snakes on a Plane.

The green reptile emerged suddenly on an Aeromexico flight from Torreon in the countrys north to Mexico City on Sunday, slithering out from behind an overhead luggage compartment.

Mobile phone video shot by passenger Indalecio Medina showed it wriggling briefly as if trapped before partially dropping down into the cabin.

I was reading a magazine and the passenger next to me saw it and, Oh my word! Medina said on Monday. He estimated it was more than 3ft (about 1m) in length.

Passengers hastily unbuckled themselves to get clear of the snake before it dropped to the floor, where people trapped it between rows 5 and 6 with blankets provided by a flight attendant, Medina said.

It was a frightening situation … but people remained calm because it didnt get out of that space and nobody became hysterical, Medina said. Some people got up to see what kind of reptile it was, but nobody got carried away.

After the pilot radioed ahead, the plane was given priority landing in Mexico City and touched down 10 minutes later. Passengers exited out the rear, and animal control workers came on board to take the stowaway into custody.

Aeromexico said in a statement that it was investigating how the snake got into the cabin and would take measures to keep such an incident from happening again.

Snakes on a Plane was a 2006 action movie that was about exactly what the title suggests. It is treasured by fans for its campy premise and star Samuel L Jacksons profanity-laced declaration of war on the CGI-generated serpents.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

‘Catastrophe’ as France’s bird population collapses due to pesticides

Dozens of species have seen their numbers decline, in some cases by two-thirds, because insects they feed on have disappeared

Bird populations across the French countryside have fallen by a third over the last decade and a half, researchers have said.

Dozens of species have seen their numbers decline, in some cases by two-thirds, the scientists said in a pair of studies one national in scope and the other covering a large agricultural region in central France.

The situation is catastrophic, said Benoit Fontaine, a conservation biologist at Frances National Museum of Natural History and co-author of one of the studies.

Our countryside is in the process of becoming a veritable desert, he said in a communique released by the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), which also contributed to the findings.

The common white throat, the ortolan bunting, the Eurasian skylark and other once-ubiquitous species have all fallen off by at least a third, according a detailed, annual census initiated at the start of the century.

A migratory song bird, the meadow pipit, has declined by nearly 70%.

The museum described the pace and extent of the wipe-out as a level approaching an ecological catastrophe.

The primary culprit, researchers speculate, is the intensive use of pesticides on vast tracts of monoculture crops, especially wheat and corn.

The problem is not that birds are being poisoned, but that the insects on which they depend for food have disappeared.

There are hardly any insects left, thats the number one problem, said Vincent Bretagnolle, a CNRS ecologist at the Centre for Biological Studies in Chize.

Recent research, he noted, has uncovered similar trends across Europe, estimating that flying insects have declined by 80%, and bird populations has dropped by more than 400m in 30 years.

Despite a government plan to cut pesticide use in half by 2020, sales in France have climbed steadily, reaching more than 75,000 tonnes of active ingredient in 2014, according to European Union figures.

What is really alarming, is that all the birds in an agricultural setting are declining at the same speed, even generalist birds, which also thrive in other settings such as wooded areas, said Bretagnolle.

That shows that the overall quality of the agricultural eco-system is deteriorating.

Figures from the national survey which relies on a network of hundreds of volunteer ornithologists indicate the die-off gathered pace in 2016 and 2017.

Drivers of the drop in bird populations extend beyond the depletion of their main food source, the scientists said.

Shrinking woodlands, the absence of the once common practice of letting fields lie fallow and especially rapidly expanding expanses of mono-crops have each played a role.

If the situation is not yet irreversible, all the actors in the agriculture sector must work together to change their practices, Fontaine said.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

US surfer survives crocodile attack after friend fights off reptile

The man suffered serious injuries after being attacked while crossing a river at a popular tourist beach in Costa Rica

An American surfer has survived a crocodile attack in Costa Rica after his friend fought off the reptile with his bare hands, according to emergency workers.

The man was in a serious but stable condition after he was attacked by a large crocodile at a popular tourist beach on Friday.

Pat McNulty, who works as a consultant and is a certified trained lifeguard in Tamarindo, a northwestern town favored by surfers and eco-tourists, said the man was crossing a river with the friend when the crocodile struck.

He was bitten several times in the leg as well as the head, McNulty told Associated Press by phone from Costa Rica. They were able to get him free, swim him to safety and then trained lifeguards responded … and we administered first aid and called an ambulance.

McNulty said the victim remained lucid after the attack and was taken to Liberia, the provincial capital, where he underwent surgery. McNulty declined to give specifics about the mans injuries other than to say he suffered lower leg trauma and his condition was serious but stable.

His friend saved his life … and then we the lifeguards helped keep him alive, McNulty said. It was a very traumatic scene, and all individuals attending him did a tremendous job.

Costa Rican media reported that the victim suffered partial amputation of his right ankle and most of his calf muscle was stripped.

McNulty declined to identify him publicly by name but described him as a surfer from Colorado who maintains a residence in the village. Family members were travelling to be with him, McNulty added.

The US Embassy in Costa Rica said in a statement that it was aware of the case and that consular officers help US citizens when they are injured overseas, but declined to comment further citing privacy considerations.

Earlier, Costa Rican press reports had said the man was from Arizona.

Community, wildlife and tourism officials met after Fridays attack to consider strategies for relocating crocodiles and making sure theres proper signage to keep people safe.

McNulty said a few months ago there was a minor incident involving a smaller crocodile. We live in a country where theres large crocodiles, and people take for granted that when you go into a river that youre safe, the lifeguard said. But the fact of the matter is that you need to be aware of your environment. … Were in their world.

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/us

Foxy Love: Photographer Proves That Foxes Are Extremely Loving Creatures (11 Pics)

Talented Dutch photographer Roeselien Raimond (whom we’ve written about and spoken with before here) takes stunning photos of wild foxes. For this year’s Valentine’s day she agreed to give Bored Panda an exclusive interview and talk about how attentive and loving foxes are, despite the popular belief that they are mean and deceitful creatures.

“I know of no animal that shows as much love and affections as foxes do. That could be because I know no animal, like I know foxes, but that’s not the point here. The point is….love. Foxy love to be more precise”.

“Foxes are known to be smart, false, deceitful and mean creatures- a successful character assassination; even I believed it as a child, when reading the famous fox fables. That was, until I started following foxes and learned to know them very well and found out that love must be their middle name”.

“I know of no animal that shows as much love and affections as foxes do,” Roeselien told Bored Panda

Thank you, Roeselien Raimond, for talking to Bored Panda about your amazing work!