Visitors to Trinity College in Dublin are being asked not to bother a new family of foxes that has taken up residence on-campus.
Sam the fox is well-known around the college and now she has welcomed five cubs with her mate Prince.
Sam has become something of a celebrity over lockdown with staff and students sharing photos of her escapades in the area.
Exciting news we've all been waiting on... the fox cubs have arrived, five we think. Congrats #TrinityFox🦊 Sam & Prince 🎉🥳🎊. Huge thank you to student, Michael Gilna for sharing this amazing video with us. pic.twitter.com/XGiGa92bQ8
— Trinity College Dublin (@tcddublin) April 20, 2021
Trinity Zoologist Collie Ennis said she is now thriving after suffering with mange and being hit by a bus in recent times.
“A few months ago, she formed a romantic relationship with a fox called Prince who is a very handsome dog fox who arrived on to campus.
“That love blossomed and now we found out during the week we have five beautiful little cubs who are bouncing around the provost garden on campus so it is a wonderful occasion and we are all very, very happy to have these little bundles of joy on-campus.”
— Eoin Hand he/him - Text TCD to 50808 (@TCDSU_President) February 22, 2021
He said staff have been leaving food out for the family but will be keeping their distance in the coming weeks.
“They are still wild animals,” he said. “We don’t want to encroach on them or hassle them. We don’t want to freak her out or the cubs so we are kind of giving them their space.
“It is fantastic that people can observe them but we are just saying not to interact with them or freak them out.
“We are feeding them; we are keeping them well. She looks a bit scrawny and a little bit skinny but people don’t need to worry - she is very well fed; she has just had a bit of a rough life.”
He said the good news has really lifted spirits at the college after what has been a very tough year.
“It has been quite difficult for us all on-campus I suppose with lockdown and the comings and goings of campus life being put on pause,” he said.
“No Trinity Ball, no regular lectures, just the normal to and fro of life has been put on pause – but the great thing has been watching Sam and Prince knocking around the campus.
“It has really livened things up and given people a little bit of joy.”
Additional reporting Michael Staines
Main image shows Sam and Prince the Trinity foxes. Image: Eoin Hand/Twitter