Need more evidence that Southeast Michigan is reverting back to nature as the human population declines? We've talked about Flint's increasingly scenic urban forests and savannas. And don't forget about the beaver that returned to the Detroit River. Of course there's the legend of the giant wolf, not to mention the Village of Wolves in Flint.
Now comes news that the elusive red fox has returned to Motown. The Seattle Times reports:
Found across all parts of the state, red foxes typically stick close to more rural areas. But Detroit's dwindling population has meant less noise and more places for foxes to hunt rats, mice, voles, pheasants, cotton tail rabbits and even pigeons.
Many neighborhoods have so few remaining houses that adjoining lots resemble small prairies and woodlands, and Detroit's extensive freeway system and old railroad connections linking the inner city to less populated areas are now serving as routes for wildlife.
"As we move out, wildlife moves in," said Matthew Walter, a fox researcher at Antioch University's New England campus in New Hampshire. "Nature heals the cuts that we've made. As long as they can survive there, and as long as they can raise young and if the hunting is good, they will stay there indefinitely."
Just to clarify, the red fox returning to Detroit should not be confused with the Machus Red Fox in Bloomfield Hills, the last place Jimmy Hoffa was seen alive.