As of February 2016, after 416 posts, and over six and a half years of blogging, I'm taking a break.
I've explained why here. There's plenty of past posts to read, though - hope you enjoy them !
Looking for a brilliant present for a young naturalist ? Buy my book ! Available from Amazon UK,
Amazon US and worldwide but buy from a local bookshop if you can.

Burying a fox and a grey squirrel


This week I got a great surprise present. My friend who is the gamekeeper in the Pheasant Woods came round on Monday to tell me that he had caught a fox and a grey squirrel for me to rot down for their bones. This was brilliant because all my fox skulls don't have the lower jaws, and none of them have all the teeth.

The problem with rotting animals down is the smell, and it takes about two or three months, and other animals can dig them up and spread the bones about. So we used the same plan that we used to rot down the hedgehog. Here is what we used:

We needed

  • A big wood where no-one would mind the smell

  • A spade to dig a hole

  • Rubber gloves to handle the fox and the squirrel

  • The dead animals (they are in the bag)

  • Wire mesh to wrap round the fox so other animals couldn't eat it or dig it up and to keep the bones together

  • The wire cage we used for the hedgehog

First of all after school on Thursday we found a quiet spot in a wood that no-one goes to, and Dad dug a hole.

Then he used the wire mesh to line the hole with.

Then I wore the gloves and took the dead animals out of the bag. The animals were smelly because they were killed about a week ago. The fox was shot in the chest, and you could see a broken rib on the left hand side where the bullet came out. The squirrel had been caught in a trap and had it's neck broken.

The reason the gamekeeper is catching and killing grey squirrels is because the grey squirrels are forcing out the rare red squirrels that live in the woods. If he didn't kill the grey squirrels then soon there would no red squirrels left. There about 2,500,000 grey squirrels in the UK, but only about 120,000 red squirrels. Here is one of the traps he uses with a different squirrel in it.

The dead squirrel was small enough for me to put it in the same cage we used to rot down the hedgehog. That way the bones wouldn't get mixed up with the foxes.

I put the fox in the big hole lined with the mesh. The fox looks like it has no tail but the tail is just underneath it.

Then I wrapped over the wire mesh around the fox, and put the squirrel in the hole as well.

The dad put all the soil back in, and you would never know anything was buried there.

Now I have to wait a couple of months for it to rot down. It will probably take about three months, maybe longer. We'll have to keep checking the hole to make sure other foxes don't dig it up.

UPDATE: I dug up the fox and the squirrel in April 2011 and I have written about that here.

Enjoy this post ? Share it !


Anonymous said...

Is there any reason why 'this blog post isn't for girls' other than sexism? It's blatantly insulting you should perhaps rethink your attitude towards gender based discrimination.

Jake said...

Dear Anonymous,

I am sorry my website made you sad and angry.

There are lots of girls that like my website and email me. But sometimes I write about animals that are dead and rotting and I show pictures and girls don't like the pictures of things rotting so I decided to put up a warning at the top of posts where there are pictures of dead things so people don't get surprised by something they don't want to see.

Loads of my friends think my blog is cool, but none of the girls like the gross pictures, but all the boys do.

Anyway, girls smell.



Katie said...

@ Anonymous

I think your comment was mean. Jake's just a young boy, and does brilliantly writing about his bone collection, and I think it's unfair to pick on him over one sentence which I took to be a bit of light humour.

Anonymous said...

Jake has a point about warning girls about the pictures and content of his site. I think it is a good idea but it is funny too it make me laugh because I am a girl and my daughter both find his site fantastic and we actually do gross stuff like this. His warning could go the other way and make girls actually look but then they where warned, right. To say he is discriminating against gender is insulting to Jake. He is only trying to create a user friendly website that is brillantly done. Give the kid a break he doesn't want to gross out a girl and lets face it women/girls there are some of us out there that are pansies when it comes to stuff like this.

Anonymous said...

Boys smell worse than girls!

Jake said...

Thank you everyone who wrote something nice ! I don't want to make anyone sad or angry.

Girls are like so stinky it is untrue.

Max Micheal Farrell said...

Thanks for reminding me Jake

I know where Boudica was belived to be Buried

King's Cross Station Its true!

21st Century Peasant said...

Hi Jake,

I found your site when I was looking for info about Roe deer antlers (we have lots of Roe deer here in France) and I think it's great ! I really like the way you explain things and you also made me laugh. I am a girl and I admit I can be quite stinky. Keep up the good work !


Jake said...

Hi Max ! My dad goes through Kings Cross station a lot so maybe he could look.

Hi Rachel ! I'm glad you found it useful. It's really nice to hear from people all over the world.

Dana Day said...

I came across your blog and I think it is great. Kudos to your parents too, for supporting your interests.

The only thing I want to complain about is your "warning to girls." I think that is rather sexist. My daughter and I collected lost of things in the woods when she was your age (she's grown up now), and she wasn't (and still isn't) squeamish at all about bones, bugs, reptiles or anything else.

Please don't assume that girls aren't interested in what you are up to; at best it excludes them and at worst it makes it seem like there is something
wrong with them if they are interested in the same things you are. (The same way I'm sure not all boys will be interested!)

Please think about this a little. I am sure you do not mean to make assumptions about people based on whether they are male or female.

Keep up the good work and have keep having fun!

Jake said...

Hi Dana ! I think it's a good idea to have a warning when picture show something gross. I do think there are more girls interested in this than boys, but I think girls not interested in it find the gross pictures more horrible than the boys who are not interested in it, if you see what I mean. In my class at school, girls are more scared of stuff like this. I might change my mind but probably not.

Anonymous said...

CAD. The use of computer software program to create the design and drawing of a part, product, process, or building. A sophisticated machine high precision machining with a sliding headstock and fixed bushing. CNC Swiss-type lathes create small, complex, cylindrical parts in one cycle. The strategy of switching a machine setup from producing one part to a different. The use of computer software program to create the design and drawing of a part, product, process, or building. The strategy of enlarging an present hole with a single-point tool.

Free counters!