Family of foxes a ‘morale boost’ at Cheeverstown

by Gazette Reporter

A FAMILY of foxes has become a source of comfort for staff and residents at a Dublin care centre during the coronavirus lockdown.

Eyes at Cheeverstown House are regularly trained out the window at their neighbours who have become a daily taking point at the centre based near Templeogue.

Operations manager Tim Ryan told Dublin Gazette: “We have a dog fox here. We will call him Wily for this article but we have our name for him here, and he has become rather tame.

“He had the social distancing sussed long before the rest of us – he eats with three feral cats in the grounds and enjoys a good social life with them, he soaks up the sunshine and seems to have a balanced family life.”

Tim believes the fox and another, a female, arrived early last year as cubs and each has taken up residence at Cheeverstown, which serves 400 intellectually disabled children and adults.

“South Dublin County Council planted about four acres of land behind us and the pair emerged from there,” said Tim.

“The vixen has at least two cubs this year, but as soon as they see us, they hide whereas Wily is not afraid of us, cautious yes and he keeps his own social distancing.

“We feed them as there is very little food wasted or binned here at Cheeverstown. But at least when he is here, he is not foraging in neighbours’ yards or bins.

“With 50 residents in Cheeverstown and confined to barracks, so to speak, the foxes are a daily topic of conversation and a distraction for the residents.

“But they’re also a good morale booster here for the staff, seeing as how they’ve adapted and survived in their own challenging environment.

“It is lovely to see him lying out with the cats, sunning himself – he seems happy out!”

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