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Taming Wild Fox


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Weston-super-Mare man pens book about taming wild fox

David Lewis with Sam the Quarry FoxIMAGE SOURCE,DAVID LEWIS
Image caption,
Mr Lewis developed a strong bond with Sam

A man who developed a special friendship with a wild fox has written a book about the experience.

David Lewis has been involved in running the Old Town Quarry in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, for decades and used to leave scraps of food out for wild foxes.

The 52-year-old developed a bond with one, who he named Sam, in 2009.

He later helped her recover from mange and gained her trust so much that she would let him pet her.

Speaking to BBC West Online, Mr Lewis said: "At first I saw her from afar and then put food out a long distance - 10m (32 ft) away from me.

'Stroke her'

"Over the next three or four months I started bringing the food closer to me.

"Eventually I had it next to me and eventually she took it from my hand and she let me stroke her.

Figure caption,
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"If anyone else was around she wouldn't take food from me."

Mr Lewis said that he called her Sam because he "didn't know if she was a boy or girl at the time and Sam covers both bases".

He learned she was female after the first winter when she had three fox cubs and adopted a fourth.

'Safe haven'

Foxes change dens every year and Sam had other litters outside of the quarry.

But she would continually come back to the quarry because, Mr Lewis believes, she saw it as a "save haven".

At one point she developed mange which Mr Lewis helped her recover from.

Mr Lewis feeding wild fox SamIMAGE SOURCE,DAVID LEWIS
Image caption,
Mr Lewis said he earned Sam's trust over time

Sam died in 2016 but Mr Lewis has continued to feed the foxes that still visit the quarry and says he likes to think they are her descendants.

'Not likely to attack'

He has since written a book documenting the bond he shared with Sam and hopes that it will go some way to countering the negative image many people have of foxes.

Mr Lewis said: "I don't think they are likely to attack without provocation.

"In my opinion a cat can be a lot more vicious than a fox.

Image caption,
Sam would let David feed her by hand

"It depends on the animal - people and animals all do desperate things if they are hungry enough."

The book - entitled Sam the Quarry Fox - is available to buy in Waterstones in Weston-super-Mare and on Amazon.

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