Dora Nightingale is a documentary filmmaker whose life and love of wildlife was changed forever when a little fox stumbled into her garden back in 2016.
It was the middle of the day, but she welcomed her and allowed her to stroll around and make herself at home.
Returning on a daily basis for months, Nightingale got familiar with the animal. She began filming their encounters in the hopes of making a documentary on urban foxes.
This is little Faith, the first fox to wander in.
Sharing her story with The Dodo in a video, Nightingale said that Faith completely changed her life by giving her “a window into the wild” and “into the beautiful world of nature.”
Faith was timid at first, but grew to trust Nightingale.
And Nightingale grew to trust Faith as well, welcoming her to her garden with total awe since she had never been near a wild fox before.
“She just immediately captured my heart with those big brown eyes,” Nightingale said.
Their encounters are different every time. Sometimes Faith is playful, bouncing up and down on the garden furniture, and other times she simply wants to sit nearby her friend peacefully or take a nap in her favorite wine box.
Nightingale calls her garden Faith’s “safe place” and even helped the little animal heal up after an eye injury.
“The friendship with Faith to me is just the biggest treasure of my life.”
Saying she isn’t rich financially, the companionship she feels with Faith makes her feel emotionally blessed.
Nightingale is also mindful that humans continue to take space away from wildlife, so she’s all too happy to give some back to the creatures who want to explore her garden, where she says all wildlife is welcome.
While the two friends are close, Nightingale says she is careful never to pet Faith. Of course, she’s tempted, but considers it a sacred line she can’t cross – she doesn’t want to turn a wild animal into a pet or a belonging in any way. She will, however, accept a sniff or nose bump from the little fox.
That Faith is wild and free and her return is never guaranteed makes every moment with her even more special “because it’s down to her, it’s her choice.”
But Nightingale does provide some encouragement to return such as fresh water and even some dog toys to keep her stimulated.
Faith and her fox friend Freya, who also started coming by the yard, are now the stars of a documentary called “Foxed” which recently won the Bronze Medal Audience Choice Award at the Animal Film Festival in California.
And their extended family still stops by to visit Nightingale who keeps track of them on a Facebook page, YouTube channel, and Instagram account dedicated to a project called Fox Guardians, which monitors and supports the urban foxes in Sussex, UK.
For those who encounter foxes in the wild, Fox Guardians provides advice on their website and even dispels some of the myths about foxes.
Those who want to encourage furry visitors are instructed to provide shelter and water and even set out small amounts of protein like chicken during the leaner months (though one should never put out enough food for the foxes to become dependent on them).
And while fox-lovers are always going to want to get closer to their visitors, people are warned never to hand feed the animals or let them into their homes. Turning a wild animal into a pet isn’t in anyone’s best interests and removing their natural fear of humans could make them vulnerable to people who want to harm them.
As with all wild animals, it’s best to just sit back and admire and do your best to make sure they’re safe and healthy.
Make sure you scroll down below to see a short video about Faith and Dora Nightingale’s beautiful friendship.
Please SHARE this with your friends and family.
Follow your friends or be the first to join our group
Source: The Dodo via YouTube