A rare and mysterious black fox has been spotted near Royston, Hertfordshire by a local resident. It’s believed to be only the second time a black fox has been spotted in Britain. John Moore from Bassingbourne saw the creature in fields behind his home, and caught it on camera.
‘I’ve heard black foxes are mythical creatures because they supposedly don’t exist,’ he said. ‘My neighbour thought it was a stray dog but I looked through my binoculars and realised it was definitely a fox, especially because of its white-tipped tail. I didn’t realise how rare it was until I did some research. An RSPCA officer told my neighbour the organisation had never seen one before as they are that rare.”
The black fox is in fact an ordinary red fox which has black fur or is going through a phase where the colour of its fur is particularly dark. The phenomenon is normally seen in growing cubs and generally the fox will develop to have a dark chestnut coat. But a few red foxes will remain black due to a rare genetic flaw dating back hundreds of years. Only a handful of them are thought to exist in Britain.
The remarkable curiosity here is in The Earth Emperor’s Eye the Grim Dread manifests itself as a large black fox with firey eyes. In the tale, the fox is pursued across open country by the Puckeridge Hunt having fled from the cover of Royston Cave!
Ok, the event took place in March 2012, prior to the story being concluded and published, but the coincidence is still extraordinary. I only found out about the event having seen a very recent tale about a recent – third – sighting of a black fox elsewhere in Britain. I’m truely startled!