Have foxes ever been domesticated?
AIt’s possible to domesticate red foxes, as demonstrated by a breeding programme started in 1959 by Russian geneticists, which produced tame animals that wagged their tails, but there has been scant evidence of fox domestication in our historical past. However, recent excavations of Bronze Age burial sites near Barcelona have uncovered that people on the Iberian Peninsula were domesticating foxes 4,000 to 5,000 years ago. Analyses of fox, dog and human skeletons revealed that the canines were fed a high-energy cereal diet, similar to that of the people. It’s plausible that both foxes and dogs were used for carrying light loads or pulling sleds, before the use of horses became widespread.
Were red foxes once man’s best friend? Seen as pests by some, it’s now thought these canines helped ancient people.