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A Famous Fox is remembered and honoured by Watch for Wildlife

Wallace River Photographer Ian Murray's award winning image of 'Mom' the fox and its kit helping to raise awareness of Wildlife Vehicle Collisions and their impacts.

"This fox has been just a joy to watch and take pictures of and watch raising the kits that she's had, or he's had, every year for the last three or four years. It's just a sad, sad shame that his end had to come this way," Murray said.

Ian Murray is kindly letting us use his award winning image of 'Mom' and kit for Watch for Widlife collision prevention awareness. Ian is a photographer from Wallace, NS. Mom (who was actually a dad) was killed by a car (story below, by CBC). Mom is the new face of wildlife vehicle collsion prevention in Nova Scotia. In memory of 'Mom', we will try harder to reduce their injury and deaths on our roads. The following Article was written by Carly Stagg, and is reprinted from CBC News, July 3, 2016

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/nova-scotia/fox-ian-murray-photography-1.3662245

A red fox which met its end at the side of a dirt road in Cumberland County this week is being mourned by a local wildlife photographer. Ian Murray of Wallace River, N.S., has been photographing the fox, who he affectionately referred to as Mom, for more than three years. Every year, Murray watched as Mom tenderly cared for a new litter of kits, assuming the fox was the mother. It wasn't until a few months ago that Murray realized Mom was actually the dad all along.

Ian Murray Fox Photo

"This fox did all of the raising of the babies, it brought the food, it played with them, it was so nurturing, it was so kind and gentle with the babies, it would lay them down and pick ticks off them and groom them and play with them and teach them to hunt," Murray said.

"All of the traits that you would put in a good female mother fox. So we call him 'Mom' for the first three years, not knowing any different." In 2015, a sweet moment between Mom and one of its kits won Murray first prize in the American National Wildlife Federation Photo Contest in the baby animals category, beating out 6,765 other entries from around the world.

Ian Murray Photo

"This fox has been just a joy to watch and take pictures of and watch raising the kits that she's had, or he's had, every year for the last three or four years. It's just a sad, sad shame that his end had to come this way," Murray said.

Earlier this week, Murray says the fox was hit by a car while carrying food back to its den. The fox was discovered by Murray's friend, the owner of the property where the foxes had their den, who took the animal and buried it on his land.

"It's a rural area where the foxes can hunt to their hearts' content, there is very little traffic and very few people and that's the ironic part of it all — that he got hit on a dirt road out in the middle of nowhere. It should be the safest place in the world for him." Murray says his Wallace River Photography Facebook page has been flooded with hundreds of comments from people around North American who have also been touched by Mom's death.

"This fox has been just a joy to watch and take pictures of and watch raising the kits," Murray said.

"It's almost a heartwarming feeling to know that so many people care about this," he said. "It's a wild animal and wild animals die and get hit by cars everyday and it's a sad thing, but people have reacted to this on my Facebook page and they've all commented in such a positive way and in a caring way, and that's such a good thing to hear."

Murray says he and his friends will continue to watch over the fox family, making sure the kits continue to be cared for and fed well — ready to do something if the mom doesn't "step it up."

Watch for Wildlife is honoured to use the image of 'Mom' to help bring awareness to the impacts of wildlife-vehicle collisions in Nova Scotia and beyond. Please - drive with care, especially in rural areas - and stop if you hit an animal to see if it can be rescued, has orphaned young following, or it needs to be put out of its misery. Thank you, Ian, for sharing your beautiful and heart-felt images.

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