Caught a fox (zorro) in Southern Chile

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Caught a fox (zorro) in Southern Chile

Post by admin » Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:25 pm

Well, more like he (her) caught me. I have been trying to catch this guy on camera for about 2 years now. I see him on a regular basis, and signs of him all the time.

So, I was fixing a fence on my property this morning. Stopped to have a cup of coffee, and there is a fox down the road about 30 meters away (60 feet or so). Since he did not seem to be in any real hurry, I took out my phone from my back pocket and started taking photos.

I thought he might take off at any moment. I was not even sure you could see him in the photos because he blended so well with the background. Nope. He just casually walked down the road to me, taking his time. He finally walked right up to me. These photos are taken from about 10-12 feet (3 meters) away.

He checked me out, turned around and slowly walked back down the road. He then crossed in to my property and caught a mouse in the brush. Unfortunately those photos are too far away to see. One of my nicer neighbours I have to say.

The more amazing thing. As I sat on my bumper snapping photos, I had two dogs in the car sleeping. They never knew what they missed (they are not the greatest hunting dogs).
zorro-chile-frutillar2.jpg
zorro-chile-frutillar-3.jpg
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Re: Caught a fox (zorro) in Southern Chile

Post by admin » Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:28 pm

two more, click to enlarge. He sort of stayed for the photo shoot.
zorro-fox-chile-frutillar5.jpg
zorro-chile-frutillar4.jpg
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Re: Caught a fox (zorro) in Southern Chile

Post by Rhodolite » Fri Dec 27, 2013 7:51 pm

Clever you to manage a photo. A fox lives on our property, but he (she?) is the master of the lightening U-turn and any photo would merely show a blurry tail.

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Re: Caught a fox (zorro) in Southern Chile

Post by Andres » Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:16 pm

There must not be many (or any) threats to fox survival in your area. Anywhere else I have seen foxes, they have been very flighty, so they survive.
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Re: Caught a fox (zorro) in Southern Chile

Post by Kimberley » Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:45 pm

very cool

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Re: Caught a fox (zorro) in Southern Chile

Post by bert.douglas » Fri Dec 27, 2013 9:11 pm

Awesome. Thanks for the photos.

How can you know for sure it is not a dog? What is the key distinguishing feature?

There are a lot of different kinds of dogs, big and small, some with bushy tails and pointy noses.

I guess most dogs tend to have coats with patches of solid color. A general gray color means "wild". But other than that there is no single feature I see that could not also exist in a dog.

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Re: Caught a fox (zorro) in Southern Chile

Post by zannder » Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:00 pm

bert.douglas wrote:Awesome. Thanks for the photos.

How can you know for sure it is not a dog? What is the key distinguishing feature?
It's a Fox Bert, trust me. Great pics Admin, your very lucky to have gotten so close to such a shy creature.

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Re: Caught a fox (zorro) in Southern Chile

Post by admin » Fri Dec 27, 2013 10:42 pm

That is not a dog, and not a mistake at 10 feet and almost 15 mins of hanging out together. A tail evaporates out of the corner of my eye, and perhaps. This was about as close as it gets, without getting bit (which I guess would have provided take home evidence it was a fox).

really, I did not get that close. He came to me (looking at some of the other photos, he might be a she). I will post the others as soon as I get a sec to process them. Just dumb luck that I had my phone in my pocket (big thumbs up to the galaxy not camera). I normally leave it in the car when working in the campo, for fear of damaging it. I just happen to be on call because my wife was in a meeting with a client, and I had all the office calls redirected to my cell.

The photo opt I missed that just kills me of the fox, is the one in my front yard about a year ago. Simply no easy way to get a camera, and miss seeing something amazing. I was again having coffee, and my dogs were sleeping. 5 rabbits are in the yard enjoying the morning sun (normally we have one, perhaps two), and out comes the fox. I thought, "this will make for a good show".

The rabbits just looked at the fox, and went back to eating and stretching in the yard. The fox walked around, sniffed a few things, stretched. Even was within about 5 feet of one of the rabbits sniffing a bush. nothing. They were friends. granted the rabbits in Chile can be almost larger than the fox, still there was no predator or prey thing going on. I started wondering where my cat was, and she was sunning her self about 100 feet away, watching the entire show. Not interest in the fox or the rabbits in front of her (I have seen her try to stock the fox when he visits).

so, I also suspect this is same one for just the total lack of concern. The rabbits, the foxes, the owels, the birds, all got the memo that my dogs are the worst hunting dogs ever.
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Re: Caught a fox (zorro) in Southern Chile

Post by admin » Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:40 am

I am going to post these shots, full size, not cropped like the others, to try and get some perspective on the size of the fox in Chile. I would say it is smaller than both my dogs, that are in the medium range of about 40 pounds each. so it is likely around 30+ pounds.

Sorry, got a limit on the upload size, but the wire gives you an idea of size. he is about 10 feet from me, the wire is about 1/8th inch, and it is about 3 feet from me.
foxchile-size1-v2.jpg
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Re: Caught a fox (zorro) in Southern Chile

Post by admin » Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:47 am

another with length proportion.

sorry, trying to give you the best photo I can, but have upload limits. Someone however should be able to do the geometry to figure out a close size for him by clicking on the photo.

foxchile-sizev5.jpg
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Re: Caught a fox (zorro) in Southern Chile

Post by admin » Sat Dec 28, 2013 12:54 am

I just had a thought.

By accident, I have to be out there in the morning anyway with a tape measure to find out how much wire i need to finish the job. I will take a sec and pull the exact lines from where he stands to where the fence is (the white stuff is where a concrete truck did a cleanout last year, so easy to mark from the photos), and try to run it through my construction calculator to get real numbers on size (and hopefully can google a weight mas o menos from that).
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Re: Caught a fox (zorro) in Southern Chile

Post by admin » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:25 am

yea, if you think that is dog, you should be spending more time looking at dogs. totally a fox. click on the photos.

That said, my brother in MN thought it was a dog too. He knows RED foxes (I too first thought it was a coyote based on colour 2 years ago, but there are none in Chile), this is a Chilean fox.

Even the the dullest coloured foxes I could find from North America in google seem to be more red. However, look at his background. He is perfectly coloured to his background. That dry brown grass colour is almost year around here, even in the rainy season. So he is exactly the colour he needs to be. He does not contrast well on film or in real life, exactlly as he should to make a living. Really, other than being shot or run over by humans, in this environment he has nothing to fear.
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