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Friday, 4 May 2012

A French fox with "boules" - 38 of them

A somewhat silly story to see you into the weekend.

It's the discovery by amateur pétanque enthusiast, Patrick Cazes, of who - or rather what - was stealing his boules.

A fox!

(screenshot from YouTube video)

The tale started back at the end of February when Cazes, from the village of Belmont in the southwestern French département of Gers, noticed that some of the boules he left outside at night had started "disappearing".

It didn't stop there though and over the course of the next couple of months, a grand total of 38 boules were taken.

Children in the village messing around and hiding them somewhere else?

That's what Casez thought and, in an effort to catch the culprits he decided to install an infra-red camera on his bowling pitch.

And the video he took and posted on YouTube revealed that the felon was anything other than human but rather fox.

It was a discovery which surprised Casez because as he says there was apparently more interesting fare just a few metres from his private boulodrome.

"There's a henhouse and also some ducks right next to it," he says.

"From the look of things, the fox is a young female," he continued still nonplussed by its behaviour.

"A male would have a sturdier build."

Denis-Richard Blackbourne, an expert in animal behaviour based in Paris was also surprised by the fox's penchant for boules although he admits he has heard of them stealing golf balls.

"What's amazing is that the fox has done this several times," he says.

"Especially as the fox has had the time to realise they cannot be eaten."

As for Casez's hopes of finding the missing 38 boules, Blackbourne is sceptical.

"It'll be difficult as foxes tend to bury what they 'steal'," he says.

"And in addition they don't hide everything in one place."

One things for sure - female or male, this is one fox with balls!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Strange that the fox was not wearing a "beret"!

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