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Laurent Geslin - Urban Foxes, London, UK I

July 18th, 2009 Posted in Uncategorized, Western Europe

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Wild Wonders of Europe… Mmmmh, remote places, peaceful, green and human-free zones… so my next mission is: London.
After Barcelona and the peregrine falcon, Wild Wonders of Europe sent me back to one of the most populated capitals in Europe to get some new pictures of red foxes… I have worked a lot with urban foxes but that was years ago. All the places I used to go have changed and the foxes have vanished. So I decided to talk about the project to half of the Londoners…

After an interview on BBC radio, a full page 3 in the local Guardian, emails sent to all my contacts, wildlife organizations and biologists, I thought it wouldn’t be too hard to find a nice den in an urban setting in or around London… wrong.
Last week I visited a good 15 gardens, but none was good enough for photographing. Either too bushy, too small, wrong orientation or the fox family had moved out a couple of days ago… I was worried to fail such an “easy” mission when a few days ago I decided to go back to a place where I used to shoot some urban wildlife.
Strangely I bumped into a guy I met years ago and he told me he was feeding a vixen that was coming every evening to a parking lot. Indeed, the female appeared around 6pm and gave me some good opportunity for the first day. But most importantly - she has cubs…

Two days ago I found her on a wasteland, sleeping in long grass in the early morning. I waited the whole morning and when she woke up, she dug out some food and went straight to a bush. The den is probably around, but as soon as she saw me following her, she ran and I lost her.
I stayed all day, and in the evening I followed her again to the parking lot where my friend was feeding her. This time she didn’t stay long. She grabbed some chicken bones and went back to the place where I had found her in the morning.
Once again I couldn’t keep up as she was trotting fast enough to loose me again, but I managed to spot one cub. She then came back to me, and seemed more relaxed. She stayed for a few minutes and even came up to smell my bag. I managed to follow her the rest of the evening; she was sniffing around, marking her territory and inspecting every new thing in her path.

This is the fourth day now and she seems to get used to my presence. Regularly, I make a light whistle - this is for her to recognize me when I look for her, and also to avoid surprising and scaring her. She allows me to stay around the bush, but as soon as one of the cubs comes out she rushes to push him back for cover… The next challenge is for her to accept me with her cubs. I still have five days for that…


Please note that blogs reflect our photographers' opinions and not necessarily those of the directors of Wild Wonders of Europe.

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  1. 42 Responses to “Laurent Geslin - Urban Foxes, London, UK I”

  2. By Stefano Unterthiner on Jul 18, 2009

    Very nice Laurent! I like these shots very much, also because I’m in love with the foxes…
    Great job,
    Stefano

  3. By Claudia Müller on Jul 18, 2009

    Dear Laurent!Many thanks for the wonderful story and the great pictures :)
    Claudia

  4. By Peter Cairns on Jul 18, 2009

    I knew you were the right man for this! Excellent.
    Pete

  5. By João Pinto on Jul 18, 2009

    Great images!
    What’s next? Wild Boar in Berlin?

  6. By Sandra on Jul 18, 2009

    Beautiful images. Love the third one. Some of the best “wildlife in city” images I’ve seen.

  7. By james on Jul 19, 2009

    wow, great shots, I’m a fan of your older fox images but it looks like your going to top them.Great stuff

  8. By Fair Trade on Jul 19, 2009

    Beautiful photos.
    I’ve always found foxes more attractive than the people who desire to hunt them.

  9. By Franck Renard on Jul 19, 2009

    Laurent est-il l’homme qui parle à l’oreille des renards londoniens ?
    Avec un petit accent français alors. ;o)

    Super boulot sur un de tes thèmes de prédilection, bravo !

    Franck

  10. By Gergo Dioszegi on Jul 19, 2009

    One of the most beautiful hidden wonders of London! Great images indeed!

    Gergo

  11. By David on Jul 19, 2009

    Nice, very nice, amazing wildlife between us. Best regards!

  12. By Jan Fredrik Isaksen on Jul 20, 2009

    Beautiful work. As Peter Cairns said you are obviously the right man for this! Very nice.
    JFI

  13. By Ion Grosu on Jul 20, 2009

    Congratulations with this new mission. You probably enjoy it more than any other one. Great shots, the last one is fantastic.

    Are these foxes hunting, or just searching food in human garbage? If they still hunt, what do they hunt — birds, rats? Are there rabbits in London?

  14. By Lóki Csaba on Jul 20, 2009

    Nice photos! Congratulations!

  15. By Bridget Wijnberg on Jul 20, 2009

    Stunning Laurent! Félicitations!

    B :)

  16. By Arnaud Grizard on Jul 20, 2009

    Bonjour Laurent,

    le travail effectué sur cette mission est véritablement magnifique. Les photos sortent vraiment de l’ordinaire et la vie sauvage en milieu urbain ne pouvait trouver représentant plus majestueux que ces renard(e)s.

    Du grand beau travail.

  17. By Yann Sochaczewski on Jul 20, 2009

    Ce sont des photos exceptionnelles d’un animale aussi connue!! Tres beau travail!

    Yann.

  18. By davidB on Jul 20, 2009

    Beautiful relationship illustrated between the subject and the photographer. I see them more like portraits than traditional wildlife documentary. Great story at the magic hour !

  19. By Orsolya Haarberg on Jul 20, 2009

    Dear Laurent,

    You have done a truly professional work with this fox, congratulations! I like the first shot especially.
    I am looking forward to seeing the cubs.

    Orsi

  20. By Mark Hamblin on Jul 21, 2009

    Fantastic work, Laurent. This is no ‘easy’ mission. The shot of the vixen stood up against the car is a masterpiece!

  21. By perelle christophe on Jul 21, 2009

    salut laurent

    beau boulot encore une fois sur cette espèce et toujours cet éclairage qui t’es spécifique .

    par contre un breton qui boit du thé , ça j ai du mal à y croire ….. serais tu une espèce rare ???? (lol)

  22. By Staffan Widstrand on Jul 21, 2009

    Man, I lift my hat!
    Again!
    The fox standing up and reflecting itself in the car is already a classic shot.
    A prize winner big time!
    Promise that you will enter it to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year!!
    If that shot doesnt win, they will have to cancel the competition.

    I realize again and again that I have a lot to learn.
    Can I carry your bags sometime?…
    :)

    Staffan

  23. By LILIA KOUTSOUKOU on Jul 21, 2009

    hi,
    very nice story ,I have been there also last Christmans and i relise what you say.very nice feeling to see that wild animal near to your garden!

  24. By Aymeric on Jul 21, 2009

    Amazing your photos ! I love them especially knowing that you took them downtown where nobody take attention to animals :-)

    Great jobs ! If you have a lot of bags, I can help Staffan carry them !

    Aymeric

  25. By karmen on Jul 21, 2009

    a fox in the moon! genius, i love that photo and very timely it is too. great work.

  26. By Charlotte Tanner on Jul 21, 2009

    Amazing!

  27. By Clive Bushnell on Jul 21, 2009

    Beautiful pictures Laurent and a beautiful story. Such a pleasure to see the pictures you make - such warmth in them - Fantastic work!
    Thanks for doing what you do,
    Clive

  28. By Chris O'Reilly on Jul 23, 2009

    Exquisite images! Your generous blog is very informative with regard to field-craft.

    The fox/car is top drawer but the fox in the water is very evocative and captivating.

    Chris O’Reilly - a big fan of this stuff!

  29. By Oriol Alamany on Jul 27, 2009

    Wonderful images in the urban setting Laurent. I specially like the fox drinking at dusk with the buildings in the background.Good work!

  30. By Laurent Geslin on Jul 31, 2009

    Hi Everyone, thanks for your comments. Just back from London again and went to look for the vixen. She is still around but the pest control came and I couldn’t find any cubs… It seems that some people don’t appreciate as much as you the wildlife in town… Hope those pics and the project of WWE will help to change mentality. Take care all!

  31. By Perrine on Aug 25, 2009

    Mon cher Laurent, t’es vraiment le meilleur et que je n’arrive pas a croire a quel point tu es bon et les autres ils sont trop nuls…

  32. By stephan on Sep 18, 2009

    Hey Laurent!

    Some new urban fox! Well done, I love the third one!

    Keep the good job.

  33. By Tomos Brangwyn on Oct 10, 2009

    Great work Laurent! Looking forward to seeing more soon.
    Tomos

  34. By Delphine Lyttleton on Oct 12, 2009

    Laurent,

    Wonderful photos, the fourth one especially. Must have been hard work to catch those urban foxes. you must show more pictures!

  35. By Guillaume Mercier on Oct 13, 2009

    Wonderful images! These pictures deliver an unusual treatment of an unusual subject matter and the approach is admirable. Thanks for the insight into your work methodology and I do hope to see more of your work.  

  36. By David Filipponi on Oct 14, 2009

    You & Urban Foxes goes back for some years now, It really shows in the pictures. You are a bit of a Fox anyway
    Like the mood of the images, Foxes wondering about in the sleeping city
    Good work Mr Geslin, you do know your subject
    A+
    David

  37. By David on Dec 18, 2009

    Good Fox! ))

  38. By Marichal Claude on Jul 26, 2010

    Génial les photos de maître goupil.

  39. By Tony King on Sep 28, 2010

    Being involved in pest control in London we are always being contacted by people who wish to have foxes dealt with. We would never deal with foxes purley because I cannot see how such a beautiful animal could be considered a pest. Where I used to have an office the foxes were as tame as anything and would not hesitate to come right up to our front door. I think we should be doing more to look after them. Beautiful photos by the way

  40. By dave on Nov 27, 2010

    i with the previous poster i love watching foxes and could never harm one we have a regular visitor to our garden who we watch from the bedroom window.

  41. By Luuk van Oerle on Jul 6, 2011

    Interesting article and perfect pictures! Especially the first one!

  42. By Ana on Oct 11, 2012

    OMG!!! I love that!! I have 3 visiting foxes and my husband feeds them every night. We love our “little dears” and the most sociable one I have named “Ginger”. They are so cute and make funny noises! Grab their food and off they go. It was easier to see them during spring and summer though. We will keep feeding them (chicken breasts) during winter as we really love their visit every night! Hopefully soon we’ll feed some cubs too!! Love your work, good luck!

  43. By Pest control Ed on Jul 18, 2013

    Beautiful images of foxes in an urban setting. I love foxes myself (we have some in the woods behind our house), however sometimes they clash with man (or free range chickens ;-)) and as a pest controller have to deal with such occasions.

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