Watch a showdown between a snowy owl and a red fox

Published: January 29, 2018

Owl and fox in Coburg

The town of Cobourg, Ontario captured an unusual wildlife showdown a few weeks ago.

On January 4, a town employee spotted some animal tracks in the snow on the town’s pier. When she went to investigate a nearby security camera’s footage to see what kind of animal it was, she found something surprising.

The video shows a red fox walking down the pier when a snowy owl swoops down, startling the fox. Both animals wander off, but after a minute or so the snowy owl descends onto the pier. The fox returns and then the two animals circle each other.

The rather subdued showdown ends when the fox trots off, apparently losing the intimidation contest.

According to town spokesperson Ashley Purdy, it’s known that a fox family lives on the pier.

“We know there are two pups that have been spotting playing. That was likely one them in the video,” she told Global News. “Perhaps the owl was targeting that fox,” Purdy added.

While a fox is a little bigger than a snowy owl’s usual prey — they generally eat small rodents like lemmings or rabbit — it is conceivable that, initially at least, the owl thought the young fox was going to be dinner.

The pup managed to save itself from being another animal’s meal by holding its own.

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