Belgium: Fox, breaks in greenhouse, racks up thousands in damages

A florist in Bilzen, Limburg has been plagued by a flower-wrecking fox for two years now, with damages estimated to be at least €20,000. Rudy Lathouwers of Lathouwers Florist said the fox has been breaking into his greenhouse, trampling on plants and knocking them over, causing thousands of euros worth of damages with every visit, including one as recently as last weekend.

“When we lowered the automatic screens in the greenhouse, a fox locked itself in,” Lathouwers told the Flemish Infocentre for Agriculture and Horticulture (VILT). “I was shocked when I found the animal. He then destroyed the windbreak and jumped through it a bit further on. That alone is a loss of up to €4,000.”

Lathouwers installed wildlife cameras in his greenhouse after the fox showed up for the first time two years ago. His greenhouse is located in a nature reserve, which may explain the animal’s presence.

“I heard from some hunters and farmers in the area that they suspect a family of foxes has taken up residence in a den nearby,” Lathouwers said. “And we suspect that the fox has its sights set on the neighbor’s chickens. Many neighbors keep chickens. These chickens go to shelter at night, but the fox seems to want to take his chances.” At first it was just the one fox, but now Lathouwers says there are multiple roaming the grounds.

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