Curious Fox Pups Discover Hidden GoPro in Precious Clip: VIDEO

by Lauren Boisvert
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(Photo by Raimund Linke/Getty Images)

A nature photographer recently set up his motion-activated GoPro camera outside of a fox den in Slovakia, and a few curious pups became the stars of the show.

Victor Čech was in Turiec, Slovakia when he decided to film some cute fox pups playing outside of their den. But, he decided to take the innovative approach of leaving his GoPro outside their den and waiting for them to find it. First, a pup emerges from the den and sneaks up on the camera, checking it out. It’s about to go nose-to-nose, but gets spooked and runs away.

The fox pup comes back, though, crouching and playing with the camera, nosing around the area and then running off. In the background, the fox’s siblings romp and play together. The other foxes eventually join the first one, and they knock over the camera.

According to Earth Touch News Network, the play that these wild foxes are engaging in is crucial for their development. Through playing, they learn important survival skills that will help them live in the wild. Playing can develop motor skills in young animals, teaching them to dodge predators or catch prey. Apparently, catching red foxes at play is a very rare opportunity.

Pups Explore Camera in Slovakia, While in Washington the Cascade Red Fox is Put On Endangered Species List

The state of Washington has put the Cascade red fox on the endangered species list after a report from Mount Rainier National Park in July. The National Park initially suggested listing the Cascade red fox as an endangered subspecies. But the state bumped it up to an endangered species instead.

The Cascade red fox is an atypical subspecies that is native to the southern Cascade Mountains in Washington. They come in three color variations: red, cross, and silver/black. They only live in alpine habitats like meadows at high elevation and mountain forests. Red fox populations were cut off from one another in the past, which led to this unique subspecies in the Cascades.

As of now, no Cascade red foxes are found north of Interstate 90. They are also vulnerable to climate change, as their habitat depends on deep snowpack and cold climates. Their reduced habitat “may negatively impact this subspecies by promoting forest encroachment into suitable parkland and meadows and/or facilitating movement of coyotes (a potential competitor and predator) into the range of Cascade red foxes,” according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

At one point, these animals lived in habitats that spanned upwards into British Columbia. Now, they cover about half of their historic habitat. Conservationists are taking notice. The WDFW will, over the next few years, implement a recovery plan for the Cascade red fox. Being a keystone species means that without them, the rodent population will increase. This in turn increases the coyote population, which is considered a nuisance already. The hope is to restore the Cascade red fox to balance the ecosystem in the Cascade Mountains and Mount Rainier National Park.

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