Foxy visitor to St John’s College

Alex Cooke Deputy News Editor 4 February 2010

A wild fox cub wandered into St John’s College last Friday, causing a brief flurry of excitement amongst students and tourists alike.

A rumour that a fox had run into the chapel was started at lunchtime on 29th January by a witness who excitedly described what he had seen. A student, Amir Hajizamani, was in the buttery, and commented: “Someone said that they’d seen a fox run into the college chapel and it had been there for a while. The porters didn’t seem to know what do and tourists were going in to check it out. Some jokes were made about it having done a ‘poo on a pew'”.

Hajizamani decided to investigate, and elaborated: “When I was walking through college I saw what I assumed was this fox run out of chapel into first court, then into second court, frightening some staff and tourists on the way, and up the staircase to the Combination Room.

A bedder was on duty and attempted to shoo the cub down but feared it was ‘angry’ and ‘might bite'”.

Sophie Wilkinson, RSPCA East Regional Press Officer, told The Cambridge Student (TCS) that foxes are quite common in urban areas, especially where there are food sources available. However, she stated that “we haven’t had many other calls of this nature”.

Wilkinson confirmed that an RSPCA inspector had received a call from the college reporting that a fox had been found injured in a stairwell.

However, when the situation was investigated further, it was discovered that the fox was uninjured, just scared. Wilkinson reassured TCS that it was subsequently “released into the grounds”.

Nevertheless, the story narrated by Hajizamani suggested that the afternoon’s events kept students entertained for a while: “We all waited with the rest of the crowd that had gathered at the bottom of the stairs for a bit while calls were made to the RSPCA. A couple of friends and myself decided to sneak up and have a look, and indeed the poor thing was cowering in a corner by the massive door to the combination room.

The RSPCA were taking their time so we left to get on with our Cambridge lives after this odd intrusion by a frightened fox cub.”

Alex Cooke Deputy News Editor