- Given Beavis
- BBC News
Wildlife expert Mike Dilger says he was “blown away” by a video showing a fox with only two front legs.
The clip was widely shared after Phil and Jane Carter filmed it in the garden of their home in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, Britain.
Dilger, who appeared on the BBC programme, described the footage as “nature taking over everything” and an “amazing survival story”.
He said he thought the fox was probably born without hind legs, and did not lose them later in life.
“balance and equilibrium”
The video shows the fox moving freely on the grass on its front legs only.
“The footage is amazing. Nature conquers everything, it’s beautiful,” Dilger told the BBC.
“When the producer called me and said I wanted to show it (the clip), I was immediately blown away,” he added.
“I think it may be a genetic defect or disorder, so it is possible that it is present from birth and not the result of injury.”
“The reason I think is because he’s so good. His poise, his balance and his control are amazing, the way he’s able to jump those front ends and he’s still really eating.”
Dilger said he’s encountered many examples of wild animals adapting well to losing a limb, but this was the most impressive.
He added that the fox appears to be in very good health and there are no signs of sarcoptic mange, a disease that has caused a significant decline in the urban fox population.
“There may be a large number of foxes in the suburbs around Ilkeston and Derby,” he said.
“People have attachments, they’re digging under the garage…and there’s a lot of food because we don’t get rid of it properly, so they can help themselves to chicken bones and pet food that’s left over.”
“So actually, if you are adventurous and have a lot of initiative, like this fox for sure, you can do quite well in an urban environment.”
The footage also caught the attention of the Derbyshire Wildlife Foundation.
A spokesman for the foundation said: “We have never seen anything like this in the wild before, but the animal appears to be relatively healthy and appears to have adapted to life on two legs.”
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