March 01, 2019

A Soviet Fox for Post-Soviet Man

A Soviet Fox for Post-Soviet Man
A fox at the Novosibirsk breeding center. Vasily Koval

Last fall, a video of a fox traveling in the Moscow Metro appeared on the RuNet, or Russian internet. It got millions of views. The reddish-orange creature was perched on her owner’s shoulders, towering over the sullen hostages of rush hour, looking down on them utterly unperturbed.

The internet, however, unleashed a torrent of condemnation, and television stations started airing the video, bloodthirstily hinting that Anastasia, the fox’s owner, would have looked a lot nicer with a fox-fur collar. She said that in future she will travel by taxi if she has to take her pet Aska along:

Taking the fox in a carrier is hard, because the carrier weighs about three kilograms and the fox herself weighs about 10. But when she’s sitting on my shoulders the weight is distributed. Also, foxes are anxious animals, and traveling in a carrier is stressful for them; they have to see what’s going on around them. Most fox owners carry their foxes the same way, but it was just my “luck” to be caught on camera, and then I read a bunch of ridiculous comments that you can’t take them in the metro since they’ll attack people and that anyway, she might tear me to pieces some night. This hype upset me and after that I couldn’t go out in public. Now I’ll have to spend money because of some people’s silliness.

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