In order not to go too off-topic:
Thoughts on Zao Fox Village
To be honest, it felt like a typical zoo experience, something I’m usually not very fond off. I did see some of them in cages which was explained as them being a danger to the other foxes at that particular time (mating/hormones or something?), and the petting seemed sketchy so I didn’t do that.
But in the main area it looked okay-ish to me. It’s definitely not what certain youtube channels make it out to be, but it’s not THAT bad either. As for the fighting… I think that happens due to overpopulation and them generally being lone animals rather than pack animals. There definitely are too many foxes in the same area though.
I do think that they genuinely save quite some foxes from early deaths though. As the average lifetime in the wild is 2-3 years compared to the 14 years in the sanctuary. I’m also not sure how much of what they do is a neccesity or due to lack of funds (e.g. not having more space, putting the rowdy ones in cages). It’s hard to say.
All in all, I not sure I’d recommend going there as I left with very mixed feelings. It’s just like a zoo, it doesn’t feel completely right. But at the same time they do “save” foxes (accordingly) as a sanctuary.
As for Nara: I’ve personally been to Nara and other places in Japan with a ton of deers, and I wouldn’t really say those animals are living good lives either. There’s an enormous amount of tourists coming to see them and feeding them wrong things (aside from the deers trying to eat anything they can get, such as plastic bags).
This kind of stuff is always very difficult to research, and it’s easy to do the wrong thing as a tourist, even if you researched and think you are doing the right thing. It’s the same with the so called “elephant sanctuaries” in Thailand. You never know 100% for certain whether it’s an actual sanctuary or not, you can only try to research as best as you can.
That said, the foxes there were very cute still and I really hope they are treated well.