I hope you don't think this is silly. What I had come to know as "Mom" red fox, a loving, gentle, caring wild animal over the past few years, died today. She was hit by a car while carrying food back to her den for the kits she has been raising. Here is where it gets a bit more complicated, "Mom" was actually "Dad". This loving, caring, nurturing animal was a male, which we just learned this summer through observation. We always thought it was a female, he was so gentle and loving with the kits, and at the same time such a good provider.
So this is actually a tribute to a fox. I'm going to miss this wild animal. He was always fun and interesting to visit. He was so good with his family. He would stare off into the distance, presumably looking to see where his mate was, when he was near the den. He always kept an eye on the kids. If there was a tussle, he'd intervene. It'll be up to his mate now to finish raising this family. Some of them are starting to hunt and roam a bit from the den, and they are not street wise yet. I have told local folks on Facebook that if they see some little foxes on the edges of the road, please slow down, and be mindful that they are young and don't know the ways of the world yet.
These pictures are just a few of my collection, but they show "Mom", as I knew him for so long, as a very special animal. I have to stop typing now. I'll likely be breaking a few rules by posting this way, adding 2 pics at a time, but I hope it's OK.