Fox in the dock: Proof that Danish society really does look after its weakest members

The discovery of a drowned animal in the City Lakes has prompted the authorities to take swift action by building a series of ‘duck ramps’

Newcomers to Denmark are often taken aback by how accommodating the authorities are – providing it’s within the rules.

Local administrators take the concerns of the public seriously – often coming up with solutions to ensure the same problems don’t reoccur in the future.

Whether it’s quickly adjusting a troublesome stretch of newly-installed cycle lane, or arranging parking for bicycles, or even dogs, outside a suddenly popular venue, the authorities take pride in quickly responding to its residents’ concerns.

One such development recently took place within the confines of Copenhagen Municipality following outcry on Facebook at the drowning of a fox in one of the capital’s famous Lakes.

READ MORE: In the heart of the city, dammed for all time

Concerns via Facebook
A picture of the dead animal, which fell into Sortedams Sø in Østerbro and was simply unable to get out again due to the steep access, garnered 322 reactions and 71 reactions on Facebook on April 12, with many proposing that stairs or ledges would have enabled it to escape.

In the local Facebook group Det sker på Østerbro, concerned member Charlotte Andreasen described the incident as a “tragedy because we have created an artificially bounded lake that does not allow animals to escape if they fall in”.

Other commentators questioned whether the same could happen to a child.

12 duck ramps will be installed
The concerns of a few hundred people expressed on a local Facebook group might sound like a minor ripple, but word quickly reached Teknik- og Miljøforvaltningen, City Hall’s technical and environmental administration, and it has already confirmed it will be taking action.

It intends to install 12 ‘duck ramps’: eight in Sortedams Sø, which is divided into two parts by Fredensgade, and four in the adjoining Peblinge Lake.

“It is completely understandable that it can seem grotesque when, for example, a fox drowns,” Teknik- og Miljøforvaltningen unit manager Jakob Tamsmark told

But it does not sound like he is convinced.

“Unfortunately it is probably impossible to completely avoid it, as it is doubtful whether the ramps would have made a difference in this situation, as the lakes have a long circumference,” he added.