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Pierson v. Post - 3 Cai. R. 175

Rule:

A fox is an animal feroe naturoe, and property in such animals is acquired by occupancy only.

Facts:

Plaintiff Lodowick Post was out with his hounds chasing a wild fox when defendant Pierson, knowing the fox was being chased, shot and killed it. Post brought an action against Pierson for trespass in New York state court, and the trial court ruled in his favor. Pierson appealed, arguing that Post had no rights to the fox merely because he was chasing it. 

Issue:

Did Lodowick Post acquire legal rights to the fox because of his act of chasing the same? 

Answer:

No.

Conclusion:

The state supreme court held that mere pursuit did not give Post a legal right to the fox, but that it became the property of Pierson, who intercepted and killed the same. The court held that however uncourteous or unkind Pierson's conduct was toward Post, it produced no injury or damage for which a legal remedy could be applied.

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