Ian Murray spent three months photographing a young red fox family, and now one of those photos has won a prestigious award. The image, which captures an intimate moment between a mother fox and her pup, was awarded first place in the Baby Animals category at the 2015 National Wildlife Photo Contest.
Murray, who started Wallace River Photography in 2009, found the foxes near his home and checked in on them every week.
“The foxes were great: their shyness at first, then their acceptance of me once they knew I was no threat. And best of all was their interactions between themselves and especially with their mother,” he told the CBC.
The winning photo, entitled Momma and Baby Red Fox, shows the mother fox playing with one of her kits. Murray was particularly impressed with her caring attitude towards her young.
“She was, is such a good, attentive mom. She almost wasted away to nothing over the summer as she put all her energy into hunting and bringing home food for the babies.”
By the time he was done watching the family, the pups had grown into independent animals, eventually venturing out on their own.
“It was very satisfying,” Murray said of his weekly visits.
Murray also won in the American Bald Eagle contest last year. His fox photo beat out 6,765 entries from around the world.