Sam the fox has given birth to “at least six, if not seven cubs”, according to Research Associate at Trinity Zoology Collie Ennis.
Speaking to Trinity News, Ennis confirmed that Sam has given birth to her long-expected cubs, and there are more than previously appeared in a video by Trinity on Twitter.
Ennis said: “We thought that there were five cubs, we think now there may be seven”.
“They all look very healthy, they are all boisterous and playing, and Sam is looking well.”
He continued: “A lot of people are saying she looks thin; she’s not a very thick fox, and she’s very well fed. Staff on campus are looking after her”.
“She’s a silly fox and has had a very colourful existence, between getting hit by buses and getting mange last year, she’s a bit banged up, but she’s doing well. She seems to be taking to motherhood quite naturally.”
After news broke earlier this year of Sam the fox’s newest love interest, people were pleased to find out that Trinity’s resident fox was expecting cubs. Perhaps it is due to the banal day-to-day routines we have all been subjected to over the past year or perhaps because, at the best of times, it is hard to resist news about animals roaming around campus. Either way, Sam the fox has garnered a lot of attention over the past few months.
With access to campus being restricted over the past few months, Trinity’s resident fox has claimed the campus as her own, along with her mate Prince and his rival Scar. The three foxes have stayed on College grounds for months now thanks to College staff who provided them with a source of food once the usual scraps provided by restaurants and bars in the surrounding area closed due to the pandemic.
Once her health was restored and after having chosen her mate, Sam the fox was ready to expand Trinity’s fox population with none other than Prince. According to onlookers, Prince seemed like the ideal suitor for Sam and the fox to whom she had been giving most of her attention. When news broke about the birth yesterday on Trinity’s Twitter page, the congratulatory tweets came flying in.
A spokesperson for College added to the deluge of praise honouring Sam’s achievement saying that “so many people have been following the Sam and Prince story closely over the past few weeks, so we are delighted to see the next chapter begin so happily”.
“Everyone is grateful for little nuggets of heartening news at the moment and Sam and her cubs are continuing to prove a very welcome distraction for many.”
Speaking to Trinity News, Ennis explained that some of the cubs will stay with the family as they grow older, while others will wander off and find their own territories.
“In a litter that big, unfortunately you wouldn’t expect every one of them to survive,” Ennis explained, “It’s just part of nature; hopefully these will all survive, I hope to see them all survive”.
“Some of them will definitely stick around campus, and others will move off; perhaps they’ll even take up residences in other green areas of the city.”
“It’s going to be a full-time job for the next few weeks until they’re weened and they start making their way in the world,” Ennis continued.
Now that Sam has given birth to her cubs, people may wonder whether or not they will be permitted to stay on campus or moved to a safer location. As for now, nobody is sure, but in the meantime the college asks everyone to be respectful of Sam and her cubs and to avoid disturbing them or compromising their privacy. People are, however, encouraged to observe from a distance and to share in the joy of the college’s new arrivals.
Speaking to Trinity News, Ennis emphasized the importance of giving the new fox family some space:
“What we’re asking people to do, especially people living on campus or working on campus, if they can just give them the space they need because we don’t want her freaking out and trying to move the cubs to a different site, which could be a possibility if she was alarmed or frightened.”
He continued, “we’re asking people to give them a bit of breathing space; it’s fine to observe them, it’s great if you have an office or accommodation overlooking where they are, or if you see them walking around campus to observe them from a distance, but don’t approach them or freak them out”.