I only included a short part of the whole story in this video as most of the footage was too dark and shaky. Besides, I had to watch the mad fox all the time
I was coming back from a day trip, good times BTW…
…But it started getting dark and I had to start getting back home. Walking down a forest path, I suddenly stopped for some reason. I don’t remember what it was but it made me turn around and switch on my flashlight. I clearly saw a pair of eyes glowing in the dark. At first I thought it was a dog lost in the woods. I took a closer look and it became obvious there was a fox just a few meters behind me.
My first thought was that the poor guy must’ve just stumble upon me unintentionally, is about to realise his mistake and run. But to my surprise that never happened. The fox stood there for a few seconds, looked at me and started trotting toward me. The video was shot just after that initial impression and shows the fox’s behaviour right after we realised, we knew of each other.
I started getting a little worried as we do have cases of rabid foxes here in Poland, and I immediately remembered all the warnings I’d heard about strangely behaving wild animals. So I tried to keep my distance. Unfortunately, it soon turned out that wasn’t enough. The problem wasn’t me. It was the curious fox who just wouldn’t stay away and even attempted to playfully (I hope) charge me and stalk me in the bushes on the path’s sides.
At that point I was seriously concerned and even reached for my pepper spray. I mean, think abut it. You’re in the middle of the woods, in pitch darkness, alone and there is a freaking fox following you, trying to charge you and approaching as close as 3 meters away. Pretty spooky eh?
Either way… the spray didn’t help. I don’t know if it was the low temperature (about -8) or the spray had expired, but it clearly had no effect on the fox other than driving it back a bit as soon as the spray made that hissing sound. In addition, some of that crap got on my fingers and gave me a taste of my own medicine later at home.
Since the fox wouldn’t live me alone, I started throwing sticks at it. Well, that drove him good 50 meters away. For about 20 seconds. He was still following me. Just at a greater distance. At one point he felt so comfortable with me around, he actually started hunting a few steps away from me, doing this foxy head jump into the snow. I started suspecting it might be a this year’s pup. The way it was behaving, playing and wallowing in the snow, all that seemed to suggest it’s just a young and hopefully healthy fox, who had simply never seen snow before.
In fact, that was the first snowy day this winter, which meant the fox could’ve seen this strange white stuff before. That is of course, it it was indeed a youngster. Considering the circumstances, I still found it hard to believe that a fox could get so cocky just because it was excited about its first snow. Especially that people shoot foxes in these parts. I can’t believe it had never encountered a human before either. Why did it behave this way then? How did it even survive that long? I honestly don’t understand that.
The situation took place just a couple of day after my close encounter with a wild boar, which only made things even more confusing. Don’t get me wrong. I always wanted to have a special connection with wild animals but this was getting a bit overwhelming 🙂
The fox walked me almost to the main road a couple hundred meters from my house, where the lights and strange noises must’ve proven too much for him. He disappeared somewhere in the young growth and we never met again.