Russia's love affair with badly-stuffed 'Stoned Fox' turns sour as communists brand him 'vile' and 'Russophobic'

  • Stoned Fox found a Russian fanbase after being auctioned on eBay
  • Spawned thousands of internet memes featuring the creature
  • Proved so popular creator Adele Morse has taken Stoned Fox on tour
  • Communists in St Petersburg asked that exhibition be shut down
  • Called artist an 'unfriendly emissary from England' in a statement

Celebrity: Stoned Fox may be a badly stuffed piece of taxidermy but that hasn't stopped him finding fame

This dazed-looking fox has a huge fan base in Russia, where the badly-stuffed creature became a surprise internet smash after he was spotted for sale on eBay.

The animal - dubbed Stoned Fox thanks to his bemused expression - proved such a hit his British creator has taken him all the way to St Petersburg for locals to get a closer look.

But it seems Russians are not universally fond of Stoned Fox, after local politicians in the city labelled the comical creature 'vile' and 'Russophobic'.

A statement from the local branch of the Communist Party described Stoned Fox's British creator, Adele Morse, as an 'unfriendly emissary from England' and demanded that her exhibition be shut down, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.

Their suggestion that the artist 'had allowed herself to mock a great people and its history' comes after she was quoted as saying fans had told her they liked Stoned Fox because he 'looks a bit sad and drunk and that's how Russians feel'.

Ms Morse, who is based in Dalston, East London, has said she was misquoted.

The Welsh artist is in Russia to give a series of seminars on Stoned Fox and the thousands of internet memes he inspired.

Ms Morse was inundated with pictures showing the creature pasted into a host of unlikely scenarios; from inside the Oval Office with Barack Obama, to lounging on a park bench with Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves.

Ms Morse had experimented with stuffing the fox, which died of natural causes, and put the finished item on eBay.

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The tale of the Stoned Fox began when artist Adele Morse listed her taxidermy efforts on eBay

A meme within a meme: Stoned Fox even joined Olympic gold-winning gymnast McKayla Maroney and US President Barack Obama in her trademark scowl

The wonders of Photoshop mean Stoned Fox has joined film star Keanu Reeves on a park bench...

Internet users even created Stoned Fox's tail's own Seven Year Itch moment with Marilyn Monroe thanks to Photoshop

Ms Morse is also due to meet journalists and fans to tell them about how Stoned Fox came to exist.

The eBay auction which sparked the craze started bidding at £12.

Ms Morse described the item as: 'a young Red Fox made to look as though it is a human.

'I usually practice traditional taxidermy but I decided to try something a little different.

'He is not perfect but he does have a lot of character.

...and the fox has also found a perch on works of art

Lady with a Stoned Fox - by a modern day Leonardo Da Vinci? While the fox also dons a cosmonaut outfit

The astronaut outfit wouldn't have done Stoned Fox much good on an asteroid bound for Earth

The fox even emulates Felix Baumgartner by getting to leap to Earth from the stratosphere

'He can sit on a cabinet, chair, shelf, or plinth.'

The promise of 'character' and his versatility in positioning obviously sparked something in the minds of internet users.

A bidding war ensued after DJ Space Dimension Controller posted the link on his Facebook page.

He said: 'If someone can be bothered to keep bidding on this, and win it, i will personally turn up to your house and play a live set and send you a signed copy of the album, with a picture of me and this fox totally vibin' out.'

A music promoter from Manchester, Mike Boorman, beat other bidders to the taxidermied creature with a final bid of £330. 

Stoned Fox takes a ride on the Metro

Stoned Fox on the lap of Joseph Stalin alongside Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Yalta conference in February 1945

The talking cure: Stoned Fox gets psychoanalysed

The DJ, real name Jack Hamill, kept his word and did a set in the presence of the fox and Mr Boorman at Dance Tunnel in Dalston last month.

Shortly after Mr Boorman claimed his prize, Ms Morse began to receive messages via eBay telling her that the stuffed animal was gaining quite a following in Russia.

By the end of 2012, Stoned Fox was declared 'the winner of the internet' by Russia's Metro Newspaper - quite a feat in the same year that Gangnam Style dominated the net.

Ms Morse told WalesOnline: 'I asked what it was about the fox that they liked and he told me that the fox looks a bit sad and drunk and that’s how Russians feel.

'His plastic eyes give him a glazed look and they identify with it, they think it symbolises the nation.'

The fox's stance apparently lends itself well to Photoshop-meddling, left, while Anna Veduta, press secretary to Russian activist Alexei Navalny, sported him on a T-shirt

Stoned Fox had a sweet moment on a chocolate wrapper