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Ethics , where’s the line ?

Wildlife and photography go together like strawberries and cream , in my mind anyway . But I have always maintained their has to be an ethical line drawn in the sand so to speak regarding the best interests of the animal and as a wildlife photographer just what or rather how far I would go to get the desired picture.


We have left food out for the local fox / foxes for a year now so my and the local urban foxes path has crossed many many times. Most times the fox will retreat to a safe distance , watch  and wait for me to leave the area before returning to continue feeding . This doesn’t cause me a problem , the fox retreats , I’m respectful of their space and they get a much needed food supplement.  It’s reassuring that any other human or car approaching receives a different response with the pack or individual running for cover.

All that is apart from Peanuts, a really sweet , lovely young vixen. If a car or any other human approaches, she will still bolt for cover , but if it’s just the two of us , she really doesn’t seem to have any fear and will approach me , sometimes getting less than a metre away. It’s true I normally have a dog treat in my pocket but I never ever encroach on her personal space , I simply stay still , and let her come to me .

But is that ethical ? I guess it’s all down to personal prospective. Should I give her a little scare to warn her off , or accept that there’s a little mutual trust between us both and just enjoy these close encounters with a beautiful animal ?

1 reply »

  1. It’s a tough call, isn’t it? Most foxes seem to find their own comfort zone which gets increasingly closer as they learn to trust you more, most commonly between 4 & 10 metres. They wouldn’t do this with someone they did know or trust so I’m very happy with this (& it saves having to have too many lenses/cameras to hand.) I’ve had a couple of local foxes in the past which would have happily come into my home or taken food from my hand if I had let them or encouraged them but that is where I draw the line, as tempting as it might be.

    Liked by 1 person

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