Foxes are not generally thought of as far-ranging animals, but researchers in England say that one fox from Sussex traveled nearly 200 miles to look for a new home.
“We know foxes travel to find new territory but we didn’t expect to see one go quite so far,” Dr. Dawn Scott told The Telegraph.
Scott is a member of the research team tracking the fox, which was originally from the town of Hove in East Sussex. Scott and her fellow researchers say that such a long journey by a fox is almost unprecedented, and certainly earns the animal a UK record.
The three-year-old male fox made the journey while suffering with lungworm. Nicknamed “Fleet,” the fox was pushed out of his former territory by his own son after the lungworm took a toll on his health. Having been previously collared with a GPS tracker, Fleet amazed researchers with his journey east into the town of Rye.
“It’s incredible. The GPS tracker updated us on locations every 30 minutes,” Scott said.
According to The Irish Independent, the fox took a meandering route that led him through 195 miles of English countryland. Fleet’s new home has a smaller population of foxes, which is likely to make competition scarce. Researchers say the study will provide valuable data in understanding the behavior of urban foxes.