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CLOSE ENCOUNTERS

Close Encounters of a Four Legged Kind

Do you ever get that feeling that you are being watched ? A kind of sixth sense that somewhere in the shadows of the night , hungry eyes are following you every move.

We have a nightly routine , just before retiring to bed we fill a water bowl on our drive and place any left over scraps of meat and a couple of eggs in a bowl. We are one of a number of households locally that leave food out overnight for the local wildlife. Indeed it’s estimated that here in the uk up to sixty percent of an urban foxes diet is food deliberately left out by local residents.

It’s a dark night , the outside lights are on and as usual I head out onto the drive , meat and eggs in hand to fill the food bowl. Normally any wildlife has disappeared from view as soon as the outside lights come on . If not , then the clunky noise of the front door lock opening is normally enough to send any night time visitor running for cover. But as i am filling the bowl I can sense that I have company . What looks like a young vixen ( female fox ) is watching me from the rear of our parked car.

Slowly I return past the front of the car towards the front door and to my surprise the young fox has followed me around the rear of the car , now standing less than three metres ( 10ft ) from me. The egg box is on the door step so I pick up an egg and slowly walk towards the fox , thankfully she backs up. Having placed the egg half way up the drive I retreat to the front door. Almost immediately the vixen approached the egg and disappeared into the night.

Now before you start lamenting me , i have no interest in petting or hand feeding a fox . It’s a wild animal and the last thing I want to do is to humanise this young fox . But to spend what was only five minutes in close contact with such a beautiful intelligent animal was certainly a fantastic privilege.

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