Wild visitor stuns bar patrons

HE'S a foxy little fellow - and he is known to bite the hand that feeds him!For the creature, more suited to rural life roaming the county's woods and countryside, has found himself a nice little pad next to the sea and made himself at home at a couple of beachside bars.

HE'S a foxy little fellow - and he is known to bite the hand that feeds him!

For the creature, more suited to rural life roaming the county's woods and countryside, has found himself a nice little pad next to the sea and made himself at home at a couple of beachside bars.

The fox has become a regular at both Bar 129 and the Alex restaurant on Felixstowe seafront, much to the delight of customers fascinated by the animal's antics.

He seems perfectly at home by the sea, just wandering tamely around the area, not bothered at all by the presence of people.

Bar 129 customer Chris Strang, of Quilter Road, Felixstowe, said the wild fox had joined him and a group of friends at the venue in Undercliff Road West.

“I was with some friends having a Christmas drink when the fox wandered in searching for scraps and showed no fear as it sat under our table and then wandered around the bar,” he said.

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“It was bizarre - people did a double-take.

“It would be pretty unusual to see a fox on the seafront, let alone coming into a bar. It was so tame people even stroked it. It was completely unfazed.”

A little while later it continued its pub crawl, making its way across the bottom of Bent Hill and into the Alex, which seems to be its main haunt.

The fox has been visiting the Alex day and night for about a week, sitting outside and appealing for food and drink.

General manager Greig Barnes said: “It's been enjoying a little bit of our sausages and even a nibble of my finger because I got a bit too close!

“It is very tame and friendly - not aggressive at all - and it's a real pleasure to have him here.

“Because we serve food we do have to be a bit careful and not let him on the tables or inside and have to shoo him away occasionally. We have put a poster up now to warn our customers just so they are aware.”

It is thought the fox is living nearby, possibly in a garden shed a few doors down from the restaurant.

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.

Fastfacts

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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