The UK’s wildlife has been left out in the cold as a survey published today reveals that almost half of Britain’s population no longer feed wild animals (45%) and a third of people surveyed no longer wish to encourage them around their home (32%).
It seems people are no longer comfortable with the wildlife around them, as over a third of people (34%) living in urban areas admitted that their attitude towards local wildlife has been affected by the recent fox maulings.
39% of Londoners admitted they have changed their opinion of wild animals since the incidents and one in five are now afraid of the wildlife in their garden.
The survey, commissioned by E1 Entertainment to celebrate the DVD release of wildlife comedy, Furry Vengeance, showed that despite the recent media attention surrounding foxes, it is magpies that fare the worst in terms of popularity.
27% of people surveyed named them as their least favourite animal with 29% of people surveyed believing they are a menace and 19% stating their dislike was down to the fact that magpies bully and destroy the nests of other birds.
Poor old foxes were named the second least popular animal with 18% of people naming them in the survey.
Unsurprisingly, they were least popular with those living in suburban areas (11%) and the top three reasons for this aversion were that they are a menace (22%), vicious (22%) and carry disease (17%).
Ted Burden, founder of the London Wildcare Trust, said of the results: "It’s no surprise that people’s attitude towards wildlife has changed since the recent media attention given to foxes, but people need to remember these were isolated incidents.
"Our top tip for living side-by-side with wildlife safely is to never encourage wild animals into or too near to your home.
"It’s fine to feed wildlife, they often rely on us, as long as people remember our simple rule, wild animals and people can live together with little impact on each other’s lives."