Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Campus Note

Desert foxes. Actually, I haven’t seen any, to my disappointment. The university happened to build a desert campus right in the middle of their habitat, though. Apparently, a sighting last week caused “panic” among the student body and has caused security officials to suggest that poison be placed on the perimeter of the university grounds. From what I understand, the desert foxes are comparable to the stray dogs (one of which I saw trotting along with a dead cat in its mouth this morning as I walked to the bus stop) and cats of Cairo – the foxes have adapted to human populations and human waste, and they are glad to scavenge our leftovers as easier pickings than the more difficult hunt. As a naturalist professor pointed out, a part of the mission on the new campus was supposed to be greater attention to the environment and to natural habitats. 

I imagine the desert foxes are less mangy and resemble the fascist bunnies from Watership Down a little less than some of the cats that were on the downtown campus. Still, I miss those cats because on campus I can see a great need for them, which is to keep the mouse population down. The mice I have seen are cute plump balls with large velvety ears, and I don’t really want them to be destroyed, but then again I don’t want them in my office. Last week, one colleague of mine noticed that a little mouse had settled for a nap on his foot. Cats seem a simple solution to the mice, particularly since there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of native wildlife hanging out on our concrete campus at the moment, except for those desert foxes, which I’m sure can take the cats in a brawl unless said cats are of the Watership Down variety. At any rate, I really hope the university doesn’t poison the desert foxes just because some students freaked out.

A

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, could the desert fox be compared to a coyote? mom

Anonymous said...

I don't know, but probably they are about the same size, judging from the newspaper photos. I haven't seen one yet!
A

Anonymous said...

i`m for the fox! How do you pronounce Reynard in Arabic? horse trailer mover

Anonymous said...

Wikipedia didn't help me on that Arabic thing, Dad, but now I know who Reynard is. :)
A

Bryan said...

What does it say about me that I saw the words "Desert foxes" and immediately thought this would be a post about attractive women on the new campus?

I'm on the foxes' side on this one, too.