Environment

An unexpected tryst with the Bengal fox

Peekaboo Three of the foxes shot by Karthik special arrangement   | Photo Credit: Karthik Ramamurthy by special arrangement

When Chennai wildlife photographer Karthik Ramamurthy realised he would be spending this lockdown at his home in Kanchipuram, he anticipated the rural joys of birdwatching and clear, starry skies. What he did not expect, however, was to chance upon a creature he had not seen since 2011.

“It wasn’t just one of them; it was a whole family. Two adult Bengal foxes, and two puppies, playing in a trench,” says Karthik about his recent late evening tryst. Out on a walk with an eye out for birds, he could not believe his luck when he spotted them. He only had binoculars with him then, but could not give up on the thought of a picture. “These foxes are notoriously difficult to catch sight of, because they are nocturnal, and even harder to photograph because they are quick,” he explains.

Sure enough, when he came back next morning, the spot was empty. In the evening, he saw them, but they saw him too, and the puppies scurried away immediately. “It was only by the third day that they got used to my presence. I took care not to scare them; I stayed inside my car, by a bush, a good few metres away,” says Karthik. So it was on day three and four that the family was carefree in its movements again, allowing him to take some treasured shots from afar with his trusty 600 mm lens.

After that, the puppies began to move out. “They were nearly grown anyway, so I assume they started going out to hunt for themselves. I only saw the family for a week,” he says, and what a memorable week it was.


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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 11:20:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/rare-sighting-of-bengal-fox-in-tamil-nadu/article34734158.ece

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