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I went back a month after our initial sighting of Bella and Salty to see how their kits were doing, and was overjoyed to find all 5 kits had survived and were growing up fast. 3 red morphs and 2 black morph. Here’s Bella giving a bit of extra tender moments to her youngest.
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Nickname: Bella with her kits
Age: approx 2 years of age with approx 8 weeks old kits.
Character: cautious, graceful, amazing mother
Date: May 2018 r#natgeoyourshot

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Bella with her youngest in spring 2018

The kits are born with dark fur with white tail tip and blue grey eyes. At 5-6weeks their adult fur begin to grow in, giving us a hint as to what colour morph they will become. Red Fox have a wide range of colour morphs, we’ve observed colours from Red, black, brown black, silver grey, tan, lt. beige to inbetween.

We had observed Bella to be a wonderful mother, most gentle with her runts of all the females we’ve seen. She’d pay extra attention to the smallest/youngest whenever it was called for. Watching her give unconditional love was such a gift ❤️
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Nickname: Bella with her kit
Age: approx 2 years of age with 5-6 week old kits.
Character: cautious, graceful, amazing mother
Date: April 2018 r#natgeoyourshot @wildlife.hd @wildlifeplanet

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I find myself from time to time wondering about Bella’s (pic 1 & 3) fox kits when the seasons change or when we have more extreme weather… wondering if they are ok, wondering who will remain after this oncoming winter, wishing wellness for the mom too.
This little one we nicknamed Butch (short for the butcher) in pic 2 as he was the dominant one always grabbing the fresh kill it’s mother would bring back. It would run around with the bunny and then find one of the den holes to go into and stash it or gnaw into proper pieces, throwing out the non edible parts.

My last trip to observe them was towards end of July, and I only spotted Bella by her lonesome self, as pictured in 1 & 3, waiting by the roadside for both social interaction and to beg for food. If you ever see any foxes up close, please don’t feed them, don’t even bait them. A couple of her kits were found dead by this very area the week before, too curious and tempted by human intervention. The two had been struck by a car, as they must have been lingering and hadn’t learned the dangers of the road yet. I believe the pair to be the siblings whom were inseparable (pic 4, 5, 6), and it was a very sad realization to have, seeing and hearing about the impact some thoughtless humans had on these beautiful creatures