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  • Writer's pictureMike Curtis

Belated images of fox cubs and a worrying development

I forgot about this blog post draft in my preparations for going to India, as well as the exquisite last-minute sighting of "Ruby and her little gems" which formed a blog post all to itself.

In the following images, the cubs are 6-7 weeks old and were full of energy. A couple of them were incredibly bold and were regularly seen playing together and were even seen foraging for fallen seeds under our bird feeder (see video). In the upper row of the gallery is Ruby, the dominant vixen, who became a fixture of spring 2024 sitting outside the kitchen window, waiting patiently for her supplemental feed of kibble.

Worryingly, Ruby has not been seen since I returned from holiday toward the end of May. I placed a trail camera near her den site and saw Pintail and the cubs' father, but no sign of her. After three weeks, I fear that she is no more which is tragic as she was just the most confiding vixen. Thankfully, at least four of the original cubs are still around, with Pintail assuming lone vixen duties. I guess one of the huge benefits of communal denning and collaboratively caring for their cubs is that the cubs have a much greater chance of survival if one of the vixens is killed.

Life is hard for a fox, even one that gets a little help. I shall continue to look out for Ruby but I fear the worst.

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