Red Fox Vixen Vs Badger, a set on Flickr.
This is the last set of photos of the Red Fox Kits and den located at the picnic area in Lamar Valley. We had watched and photographed the development of the kits for quite a few days and had gotten quite attached to the kits and the two adult Red Foxes.
We had posted quite a few photos, mostly of the kits as they were so playful and fun to watch. The first picture in this set is of one of the kits playing with a stick while the sibling was getting ready to jump on his/her back. This is the last and best photo of the two kits I got.
This story actually started on the afternoon of May 30th. A badger showed up late afternoon while the kits were out of the den playing. The vixen and badger fought it out for quite a few minutes with the vixen getting the best of the badger. At the first chance the badger escaped the vixen and got down the den the foxes were using. There were several other old dens in the immediate area.
All the while this fight was going on a bunch of sheep ewes gathered around to watch the fight. They seemed to be trying to keep the kits close in by preventing them from leaving. All pretty weird. Of course there was the raven watching the whole deal with the idea of stealing food from the fox den when he had the chance.
With the badger down the den the foxes moved their kits to another den about 40 yards away. For the rest of Thursday and Friday till late afternoon the two adult foxes guarded the old den with the badger very closely. We figured they were trying to starve him out into the open where they could fight him off.
Finally about 6:00 pm the vixen left the area for about 30 minutes and while she was gone the badger escaped the old den and then went directly to the new den where he entered.
When the vixen returned she discovered the badger in the new den and tried to fight him and get him out in a future effort to save the kits. After about 30 minutes of fighting and digging she gave up and went about 20 yards away, laid down and just watched the den.
It was sad to watch. But, once the badger got out of the old den the fate of the kits was settled.