Environment

I've been photographing urban foxes for years. Here's what you didn't know

Forget what you think you know about the urban fox. Their lives are full of play, tenderness and surprises

Photo: matthewmaran.com / @mattmaranphoto

Photo: matthewmaran.com / @mattmaranphoto

I started photographing foxes, an animal I’ve been fascinated with since my childhood, close to my home in North London nearly six years ago.

The fox has been unfairly maligned for centuries so I feel it’s time to shed some positive light by telling the truth about their lives. I want to show that they are merely our neighbours – and hopefully change a few hearts and minds along the way.

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Fox cubs are born in mid-March and remain underground for three to four weeks while the vixen nurses them. Seeing a cub for the first time is a delight.

1458 Urban Foxes
Photo: matthewmaran.com / @mattmaranphoto

This vixen was the first fox I photographed back in 2015. She is still around today and on her fifth litter of cubs. Extraordinary, given the average life of an urban fox is 18 months.

1458 Urban Foxes
Photo: matthewmaran.com / @mattmaranphoto

The vixen (below) and her adult cub scrap. It’s likely she wants her cub from last year off her territory. It’s tough love but an important survival strategy.

1458 Urban Foxes
Photo: matthewmaran.com / @mattmaranphoto

I encounter many people when photographing foxes. This leads to myriad conversations about whether they pose a threat to us, where they live, what they eat, how many litters they have and so on. My job has evolved from fox photographer to fox interpreter.

1458 Urban Foxes
Photo: matthewmaran.com / @mattmaranphoto

matthewmaran.com / @mattmaranphoto

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