Over the next four years the current broadcasting centre that was built in the early 1970’s will be knocked down and two new buildings, one for the VRT and one for RTBF will be constructed to the rear of the current broadcasting centre building.
There are also plans for flats on the site and the green areas that are left will become a park that unlike now will be open to the general public.
However, the VRT is able to reassure fox fans that the changes are unlikely to drive away their furry friends. Foxes are extremely good at adapting to changing circumstances.
The high number of dens, more than 50 in total at the VRT/RTBF site, are proof of this. Last year a whole family of the creatures, a mother, a father and two cubs, were spotted in the woods at the back of the broadcasting centre.
Young foxes are very curious and many VRT employees and children that were attending the holiday club in the woods during the school vacation were able to get very close to the fox cubs.
The great opportunist
Foxes adapt very quickly to changing circumstances and the foxes that live on the Broadcasting Centre site are no exception.
The VRT foxes do of course eat insects and rodents that live the in the woods at the rear of the site. However, they can also be seen foraging for food in and around rubbish skips and even in the garages and workshops here at the VRT.
One of our colleagues recently spotted one of the foxes eating a slice of pizza from a discarded pizza box. This kind of opportunist behaviour has been the foxes' saviour.
Many foxes are still killed by hunters and farmers or are run over by cars, trucks and busses.
58 dens found in just a couple of weeks
The man in charge of managing the building site during the construction work on the VRT’s new broadcasting centre Raf Verbist decided to enlist the help of a small team of experts from inside and outside the VRT to study the flora and fauna at the Broadcasting Centre site.
In just a couple of week’s six members of the team found no fewer than 58 fox dens. Some were new and still in use, while others were abandoned. Their work is on-going so more dens could still be found. During their search they were “escorted” by a fox that marked his or her territory by urinating at strategic spots.
It is inevitable that the construction work will result in the destruction of some of the fox dens, as some of the area where the foxes currently have their dens will be used as a temporary car park.
Before the dens can be destroyed, the VRT will first have to obtain the permission of the Brussels-Capital Region’s Environment Service. However, there are more than just foxes that live on the Broadcasting Centre site.
The team of experts is also examining other wild animals such as rare arvicolinae (rodents), squirrels and birds that live in the woods and the garden.