Red foxes have been making appearances in the southern city of Ashkelon, drawn out from the seclusion of the desert dunes by the coronavirus lockdown that has kept people off the streets.
The animals, usually a rare sight in busy urban areas, have a biblical resonance. In the Book of Lamentations, the Jewish temple site in Jerusalem is described as so desolate that “foxes prowl upon it.”
In Judges 15:4, the strong Judge Samson is described as having attached torches to the tails of three hundred foxes, leaving the panicked beasts to run through the fields of the Philistines, burning all in their wake.
In Ashkelon, an ancient Mediterranean seaport and now one of Israel’s main southern cities, a family of foxes has become a regular feature – nosing through discarded food, and playing sometimes unfriendly hide-and-seek with dogs in a local park.
The Arabin Red Fox is a mostly solitary animal, but may form loosely-knit social groups of a few. They are nomadic, temporarily occupying defined home ranges.
Its diet consists of rodents, birds, and fish as well as some desert vegetation or even carrion. Arabian foxes live in various environments, including mountains, coasts, deserts, and cities.