First British sighting of rare black fox captured on film

Posted on 9:13 AM by Sameer Shah

It's linked to Gaelic tradition and superstition. But the unlucky black fox has never been spotted in Britain before. Until now.

Kevin Hehir, 48, was out walking in a cemetery with his friend Jeff Brown when they spied the creature lurking among the gravestones.

Mr Hehir, from Preston, Lancashire, said: 'It was on the outskirts of Chorley, I don't want to give the exact location out as it's a very rare fox and I don't want people to go and try and catch it.

'We were walking along looking at gravestones and I spotted it. I thought, it's a myth, there's no such thing. I took some photos and videoed it.

'It's only a cub, I managed to get right up to it - I thought it was the Devil looking at me. It's definitely a black fox.

'It's really good because I've been told they're very rare and I've got it on video.'

In North America, foxes with black coats are often found, with a variable amount of white or white-banded hair in the dark coat.

And, in years gone by, rural communities told stories of the black fox and how it was as 'black as night, so that it could live in a man's shadow and never be seen'.

Superstition seems to attach itself to black animals, likewise in the past with black dogs and - to this day - black cats.

Lancashire Wildlife Trust conservation officer David Dunlop said: 'It's a Gaelic tradition, originating from the black dog which was said to bring doom and disaster to those who see it.

'Only one black fox has been seen and, as far as I know, it's the only one to be seen in this country before.

'In North America, I think it's about one in five red foxes are black but that's because they were introduced from Europe.'

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