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Cute Red Fox Cubs 🦊 Grow Up in City Garden

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Robert E Fuller

Filming cute red fox cubs in a city garden in York!

It’s so much easier to watch urban red foxes than their country counterparts, where these quickwitted, sharpeyed mammals are all too elusive. So, when a friend told me of a thriving population living near his home in York, UK I decided to use the opportunity to get up close to these animals.

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BUILDING AN ARTIFICIAL RED FOX DEN

The project began with Colin and I digging a bespoke den hidden in his garden and rigging it with surveillance cameras. However, despite having created the perfect home for them, the vixen chose to give birth to her cubs elsewhere.

I soon find her den, hidden in a huge patch of brambles, and set up some remote cameras there. The footage showed that a vixen with two cubs and a dog fox occupied the site.

DOGS CAN BE A DANGER TO FOX CUBS

It also revealed that the den was close to a popular dogwalking area and I held my breath as I watched a large, black dog follow its nose directly to the fox home and look down one of the entrance holes.

RED FOX FAMILIES WILL MOVE IF THEY SENSE DANGER

As the fox babies grew, the vixen became afraid for their safety. Soon, she moved out of her bramblepatch den and into the comparative haven of Colin’s garden – where of course I had already built her a readymade home for her youngsters to explore the world in safety.

FOX FAMILY SETTLES INTO THE HOME I BUILT

I watched the young family from a hide I had built close by. I peered through my camouflage netting to see the dog fox bound onto a 6ft high wooden boundary fence then leaped down into the garden. I watched it sniff around the patch before cocking its leg on one of my remote cameras and slinking off through a hole in the fence to continue patrolling its territory.

Next, the female emerged; one of her cubs trotting at her heels. As the cub lolloped past, the sunlight picked out a halo of long hairs poking through its woolly coat. Soon a second cub peeked through the gap in the fence and dashed to catch up with the others.

Together the cubs clambered over the logs, sniffing out treats that Colin had put out for them, and then began chasing each other around in circles. Next, they disappeared through the entrance to the fox den I had built, and I watched on the screens connected to the hidden cameras as they collapsed in a heap inside, exhausted by their antics.

Colin continued to keep me up to date with sightings and sent me regular updates from the cameras. One day he rang to let me know about something baffling: there were now more than two fox cubs in his garden.

FOX MYSTERY

As the female suckled her cubs, a small head appeared through the hole in the fence and then another. Before I knew it a further three cubs had joined the other two and the vixen was now suckling five.

Over the next week, the cameras captured fox cubs tumbling about everywhere. It was difficult to keep tabs on them all and it took me several attempts before I finally counted a total of 10. Up until this point my cameras had only revealed two.

RED FOX MUM'S COLLABORATE

The mystery was solved when a second vixen appeared on the scene and I realised the two vixens had joined forces to raise their cubs together. I had heard of vixens raising their cubs together in one large ‘family’, but I had never studied it. It just shows how when it comes to wildlife there is always so much more to learn.

I had headed to York in the hope of studying one family of urban foxes and had ended up with much more than I bargained for.

#redfox #robertefuller #cubs #kits #pups #fox

I am a British wildlife artist based in Thixendale, North Yorkshire, UK. I build ideal habitats to encourage wildlife into my garden and use nest cams to study their behaviour. These studies inform my paintings. I share the best of my video research on this channel for free. If you would like to support my work please consider a small donation here: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s...'>https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_s...

Or of course you may like to purchase my artwork which you will find on my website: https://www.robertefuller.com. Many of the paintings are portraits of the creatures you watch here!

© Robert E Fuller

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