A red fox, photographed from its left side, standing at the edge of pavement on the side of the road. The fox is looking towards its left. It has some kind of injury to its left eye.

Red fox, just outside Grand Teton National Park. April, 2023.

I spent a few minutes photographing this fox with an injured eye on the side of the road, and was shocked by how brazen he was. I saw him in the woods across the road, and as soon as I pulled over, he came running over and sat down just outside my car window, licking his chops, like a dog waiting for a treat… probably because he’s gotten some in the past. I honked my horn to scare him off, which sent him running back into the woods, but then he came back to the road and repeated the exact same routine every time another car pulled over. At one point he even laid down in the middle of the road, as if he was performing a trick for the tourists. They were obviously delighted to see that, but it just made me sad. A fox this food-habituated, and fearless of humans and cars, is not long for this world.

Just another reminder of why we must never feed wildlife—a fed animal is a dead animal.