Peter Lewis and Mark Strachan were on the Aberdeenshire coast during summer with their cameras when they stumbled upon a litter of three fox cubs.
At first, they didn’t pay much attention but soon after, they were shocked and saddened to find the litter’s mother lying dead at the roadside. The now-orphaned foxes would now have to fend for themselves which is practically a death sentence in the wild.
Two of the young foxes had already moved on but there was one remaining. Both of them decided to take care of her and named her Black Paws.
Peter, 55, and Mark, 50, made sure to regularly see the adorable creature in order to feed her and eventually even helped her learn how to hunt. They did this by letting her chase bits of meat on a string as they ran through the fields.
The duo practically became foster parents and formed a strong bond with Black Paws, documenting her playing and eating with them using night trail cameras.
Peter, who works for an oil company as a technician, said: “Running through the field with a bit of chicken on a string as she chased after the bait was, well, just out of this world.
“We turned up and used our way of letting her know we were there and she was out like a dog that had been waiting for its master all day.
“We became her foster parents. There was one month I had to rely on Mark to feed her as holidays in the highlands stopped me from getting out seeing her.
“When I saw her again I was not let down as the cub that once looked so vulnerable was blossoming into a very beautiful vixen and she hadn’t forgotten me.
“She was bolder than ever coming right up and sat yards from me. This is a wild fox and it amazes me as to how much this she let us into her life, maybe she was relying on us to help her into adulthood.”
Both of them are planning to return to the area when the weather improves. Black Paws would already be a grown fox by that time but it’s highly likely that she’ll remember them and welcome their company.