In my role as a cute correspondent — not a real title, but really should be — I spend a lot of time skimming places like Reddit for animals that stand out from the pack.
And it was Reddit where I spotted a photo of a very striking cross fox.
I mean, look at this picture. It’s a real-life Pokémon.
I’m not alone in that opinion either, as hundreds of comments said the same thing.
“Firefox in dark mode” was another great observation.
Even though technically Mozilla’s firefox mascot is a red panda, I think they should definitely add this beautiful creature to their lineup.
It’s 100% a real fox and it lives in Twillingate, Newfoundland.
Though, “Twillingate” kind of sounds like a fairytale town, now that I say it out loud.
The photos were taken by Sam Gaby, who shares his photography on Instagram @keen.feed.
When I saw that he had a bunch of the same fox and a red fox friend, I reached out to learn more.
After an extended visit to the Twillingate, Gaby says he fell in love with it and now tries to visit once or twice a year.
During his time there, he’s worked to carefully build trust with the two foxes, who he calls Mat and Pat.
Mat is the cross fox and Pat is his red fox buddy.
Over time, Gaby’s been able to move closer to capture even more candid moments.
It’s likely that the two are siblings with different color variations.
Cross foxes are basically red foxes with partial melanism.
Melanism is a gene variant where there is extra melanin in the skin, causing a deep black color. In animals, that includes their fur.
Silver foxes are a red fox variant with full melanism.
According to Gaby, the locals told him that there used to be a fur farm in the area around the town.
When the popularity of real animal fur dropped and so did sales, the farm shutdown and released the animals to the wild.
Considering how beautiful both of their coats are, I can believe that’s the case, and I’m so happy that we can see them living happily in the wild now.