A melanistic Fox, one of the rarest animals on the planet

Photographer Sam Gaby won the trust of a peculiar-looking fox in Newfoundland over a two-month period. As their friendship grew, the amiable photographer was able to take some stunning pictures of the untamed animal in its natural habitat.

Cross foxes are a fairly common sight to those who live in northern North America, where they’re more abundant. The stunning animals, a melancholic variation of the red fox, have an orange coat with dark stripes that cross over their shoulders and go down their backs.

They make up about 30% of the Canadian red fox population; and though they’re more common than a silver fox variant, they’re still a special sight to behold.

After first spying the fox in 2018, Gaby worked hard to gain the animal’s trust. “Our first encounter was calculated, I was focused on how to not disturb this wild animal, but at the same time, I was trying to assure him that I was not a threat,” Gaby said.

“He was unsure about my presence, each cautious step forward was followed by two steps back and our first encounter didn’t last long, I moved slowly but by the time I prepared my camera and locked eyes with him he ran off.”

Luckily, Gaby didn’t give up and after repeated visits at sunset, the fox began to relax around the photographer and his camera.

Following the first two months, Gaby visited his new acquaintance multiple times in the summer and winter to see how things were going. With every visit, he gained additional knowledge about this cross-species fox and its sister, who frequently appears in Gaby’s photos as well.

“I am impressed with his beauty but also his level of intelligence,” Gaby confesses. “I’ve witnessed him hunting, hiding and retrieving food stores, and interacting with other foxes. He was extremely playful, especially with his sibling, I gave them both names; Mat and Pat.”

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