Uniquely Orange and Black Fox Strikes a Pose for Friendly Photographer

Orange and Black Fox by Sam Gaby

Over the course of two months, photographer Sam Gaby gained the trust of a unique-looking fox in Newfoundland. Over time, they built a relationship that allowed the friendly photographer to capture some beautiful photographs of the wild creature in nature.

Cross foxes are a fairly common sight to those who live in northern North America, where they're more abundant. As a melanistic variant of the red fox, the beautiful creatures have an orange coat mixed with dark stripes that run down their back and intersect across their shoulders. They make up about 30% of the Canadian red fox population; and though they're more common than a silver fox variant, they're still a special sight to behold.

After first spying the fox in 2018, Gaby worked hard to gain the animal's trust. “Our first encounter was calculated, I was focused on how to not disturb this wild animal, but at the same time, I was trying to assure him that I was not a threat,” Gaby tells My Modern Met. “He was unsure about my presence, each cautious step forward was followed by two steps back and our first encounter didn't last long, I moved slowly but by the time I prepared my camera and locked eyes with him he ran off.”

Luckily, Gaby didn't give up and after repeated visits at sunset, the fox began to relax around the photographer and his camera. After the initial span of two months, Gaby returned several times during the summer and winter to check in on his new friend. During each visit, he was able to learn a bit more about this cross fox and its sibling, who can often be seen in Gaby's photographs as well.

“I am impressed with his beauty but also his level of intelligence,” Gaby confesses. “I’ve witnessed him hunting, hiding and retrieving food stores, and interacting with other foxes. He was extremely playful, especially with his sibling, I gave them both names; Mat and Pat.”

While in Newfoundland, photographer Sam Gaby came across a cross fox.

Cross Fox

Orange and Black Fox by Sam Gaby

Melanistic Black and Orange Fox

Over time, the fox—a partially melanistic variant of the red fox—came to trust Gaby.

Cross Fox Curled Up on the Side of the Road

Black and Orange Fox Yawning

And the wildlife photographer was even able to capture the fox playing with a sibling.

Two Foxes Playing

After a few months, Gaby could get close to the orange and black fox, which allowed him to document his furry new friend's daily habits.

Portrait of Melanistic Black and Orange Fox

Melanistic Black and Orange Fox

Melanistic Black and Orange Fox Sitting on the Side of the Road

Black and Orange Fox on the Prowl

Sam Gaby: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Sam Gaby.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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