Fox head trophy – <em>a very dangerous game</em>

No. 31 Fox head trophy – a very dangerous game

Fox-hunting was a very popular activity in the 19th century – and mounting a fox head as a wall trophy was considered an appropriate way to record the results of a successful hunt. This fox head trophy is from a fox hunted and killed by Mr G. Edwards on a property at Norbury, Cheshire, in England in 1898 (the Cheshire Fox Hunting Club still exists, but is no longer allowed to hunt live prey). Mr Edwards gave this trophy to his son, who migrated to Tasmania in 1910. more...

European foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are not native to this country – they were introduced into mainland Australia purely as prey for human hunters in the 1800s. The first fox brought to Tasmania was imported specifically for a fox-hunt in 1864. The proposed hunt never took place as the fox was killed.

European foxes are extremely versatile predators, and hunt anything – from tiny insects to lambs and small wallabies weighing up to 5.5 kg. They are implicated in the decline and extinction of 23 native Australian animals alone, especially ground-living birds.

Until quite recently, Tasmania has been fox-free, although several attempts at introducing them were made in the nineteenth century aiming to establish the sport of fox hunting. In the past two decades, however, there have been many reports of fox sightings in the state. The physical evidence collected since 1998 includes four fox carcasses, one skull, a positive blood sample, two footprints and 61 positively identified scats.

If they became established in Tasmania, foxes will cost the farming industry dearly, threaten native wildlife, and compete with our vulnerable indigenous predators such as quolls and Tasmanian devils.

^ less
  • Object maker: taxidermist unknown, fox killed by Mr G Edwards
  • Object date: 1898
  • Object size: 26 x 18 x 23 cm
  • Object location: Oatlands
  • Object display location: Off Display
  • Object source: Donated by Mr H. Edwards
  • Accession number: A45