Fox that thinks she's a dog makes headlines worldwide

Thursday, 29th November 2012

A young Russian scientist is making headlines around the world after transforming a fox into the perfect family pet.

Part of a team looking into how animals have evolved from being feral to being domesticated, Irina Mukhamedshina works with foxes on a daily basis.

However, one of them, a female named Ana, stands out, since she's picked up all the tricks associated with a pet dog in a matter of weeks.

As well as being able to recognise her own name, the vixen can sit, lie down and stay on command, though Irina explains that Ana is still different to the average family dog.

"Tamed foxes are not quite like dogs, they are more between cats and dogs in how they respond to humans," she says.

Since the Russian institute was set up in the 60s, scientists have seen evidence to suggest that, as Darwin predicted, animals do change physically when they are domesticated, with their foxes now having floppier ears and curlier tails than their wild counterparts.

Meanwhile, the Grimsby Telegraph has reported that the local council is struggling to cope with problem foxes, with some residents "terrified" of animals that are stealing homes from bins and trying to get into homes.