In fairy tales, foxes are known to be cunning and sly. Fairy tales indeed! You’d better replace these words with ‘sociable, loving, caring and cuddly’. I never thought wild animals could be so affectionate, but they are. Foxes are very gentle and sociable animals, which will take any excuse for a good old cuddle session.
‘Haven’t seen each other for an hour?’ ‘Time for a hug!’
‘A tick in the ear of a fellow fox?’ ‘The perfect excuse for a cuddle… ehrm… cleaning session.’
‘A moment off?’A great opportunity to tidy up the fur of a colleague fox.
‘A mutual conflict?’Ears flat, wag that tail like crazy, hug like there’s no tomorrow and …. problem solved!
In other words: Foxes are huge cuddlebugs. This applies to the ‘romantic love’ between dog fox and vixen, as well as brother, sister and parental love. Particularly the love for very young foxes is limitless. In the first months of their lives, mother fox showers fox showers her fox kits with love and care.
To photograph animals completely at ease, you need to have some sort of peace of mind yourself. Animals, being highly sensitive, immediately notice any kind of eagerness. After all, in nature it can be dangerous if another animal is focused on you. The trick is to turn yourself into some sort of uninteresting furniture, so to speak. I make myself invisible in order to just let them do what foxes do. And, if I’m lucky, that will be cuddling. But it is not something that I witness very often. And if I do, it certainly doesn’t guarantee a good photo. Foxes value their privacy and their love bits often take place – very discreetly – behind a bush.
Love bites only
Unhunted foxes don’t consider humans a threat. They are very curious by nature and sometimes they approach people. I know from experience that people might find this a bit scary. They fear that a fox will bite or transmit diseases. This is completely unjustified though. Foxes are not aggressive towards humans at all and a fox bites are extremely rare. They might be interested in the food you bring though, so it’s wise to keep a healthy distance from wild animals, just for their wellbeing.
Not many (wild) animals can compete with foxes when it comes to cuddling skills. This summer, however, I found some baby barn swallows that enjoyed cuddling. But foxes remain the true hugging masters! Foxes understand the importance of being kind, of treating others the way you want to be treated. Should we humans follow their lead, the world would be a much better place!