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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cute little cubs hone their hunting skills by out-foxing each other in the farmyard

By Daily Mail Reporter

..These young fox cubs honed their hunting skills by chasing each other around a farmyard as a photographer documented their lives for two weeks.

The three youngsters - thought to be around seven weeks old - clambered over hay bales and wooden pallets.

They bravely ventured out from their den despite British photographer Duncan Usher sitting in a make-shift hide in his car just a few yards away.

A British photographer documented the lives of young fox cubs for two weeks as they learnt the hunting skills they would need to survive

He observed them for several hours a day as they had play fights and grew in confidence.

They were eventually strong enough to leave the farm and start a new life elsewhere, in Fuerstenhagen, central Germany.

Some of the local farmers consider the red foxes vermin and Duncan had to save them from being shot by pretending he was watching birds.

Playing with the innocence of children, the three cubs are thought to be around seven weeks old

Wooden pallets and hay bales made excellent play surfaces for the young cubs to explore

The 57-year-old said: 'One fox would cower down and suddenly jump at the other two in a mock ambush.

'Or they would play-fight in the straw pouncing upon each other like young puppies and rolling around and nipping each other.

'The ambushing and mock fighting is practice for stalking and hunting prey when they became older and independent.

Together forever: The young cubs find safety in numbers

Growing up: Over time the foxes' playtime started to resemble teenagers rather than young children

'The cubs would stand up on their hind legs or jump from bale to bale.

'After intense bouts of playing they became tired, yawning and then they would sit or lie in the sun and even doze off.'

Duncan, from nearby Bursfelde, but originally from Allendale, Northumberland, added: 'As time progressed, they became bolder and more curious of their surroundings.

'They would play amongst wooden pallets stacked before the barn or explore around the farm implements parked in another part of the barn.

The young fox cubs have grown up so much they have now left the farm and started a new life elsewhere, in Germany

'They had become more wary and were behaving more like teenagers than young, care-free children.

'One day the cubs did not appear at all and after another morning of waiting I realised they had gone off to explore the big wide world.

'The fox cubs gave me so much pleasure and insight to their childhood life.'



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