Where has Freddy gone?

FREDDY the fox - one of the great characters of Felixstowe seafront - appears to have vanished.The foxy little fellow hit the headlines at the end of last year after making his home at the seaside.

FREDDY the fox - one of the great characters of Felixstowe seafront - appears to have vanished.

The foxy little fellow hit the headlines at the end of last year after making his home at the seaside.

He was a regular at the beachside bars and restaurants - wandering in unfazed among the drinkers and diners to pick up scraps under tables - and amused, and annoyed, the fishermen by stealing their bait.

But now the fox has disappeared and has not been seen for several weeks.


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One of his favourite haunts was The Alex in Undercliff Road West, where he picked up many titbits, including a piece of general manager Greig Barnes' finger as fed the creature sausages.

Mr Barnes said the restaurant - which put up a poster urging customers not to let Freddy on the tables or inside and to shoo him away if necessary - had received a call from an environmental health officer saying they must not feed the fox.

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“Unfortunately, we haven't seen him for weeks and weeks - he's probably getting his sausages somewhere else now,” he said.

“I expect animals move on all the time when they cannot find enough food.

“He's a fighter though and I expect he will survive.”

Dean Wales, who found the fox wandering around his seafront garden, said he had not seen him either for quite some time.

“We were only talking about him the other night and speculating on where he might be - whether he had moved on of his own accord or been sensitively moved on,” he said.

“We could smell the fox on our cat where it had rolled in some fox mess before but that hasn't been the case lately.”

Mr Wales managed to get the best photo of the fox, which even waited while he got his camera, didn't run off when he noisily opened the window and even posed as he took the picture.

“He just sat there and looked at me,” he said.

“It was some time before he decided to stand up again and resume his sniffing around when he finally, but casually sauntered off again.”

It was thought the fox had been living in gardens nearby or possibly in the Spa Gardens.

He first came to light just before Christmas when he surprised customers and staff at Bar 129 by wandering in searching under tables.

Have you known a fox - or any wild animal - to be so friendly? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

FOX FACTS:

Red foxes are widespread in Britain - typically found in woodland and open country, but their presence in urban areas is increasing.

In folklore they have a reputation for being sly and cunning.

They are opportunist feeders and eat insects, earthworms, fruit, berries, wild birds, small mammals and scraps left by humans.

Seen from a distance, the fox might appear as a large animal but in fact, foxes are rather small - in Britain, an average fox is a little bigger than a pet cat. Length of head and body is about 70cm with a 42cm tail.

Captive foxes can live up to about 14 years, comparable to domestic dogs, but in the wild they rarely live more than a couple of years.

Vixens give birth to four to seven cubs in a den (also called an earth), one litter a year, after a gestation period of 50 days. The cubs are weaned after seven to nine weeks.

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