Fernando Almeida has shared photos and videos on social networks of this unexpected relationship with the wild animal that already enters his house, eats from his hand and even shares the feeder with other domestic animals, including two cats.
Fernando lives by the road in the village of Oleiros, near the city of Bragança, and told Lusa that the story of this relationship began in November, when he was driving and saw a prostrate fox on the road.
He suspects that “it must have been hit by a car, because it had no visible injuries”.
He took the animal home and fed it “for four or five days, until it got well, started walking and went away”.
“Suddenly, it disappeared for about 15 days”, he said, and remained missing until, one night, Fernando Almeida was watching a film in the kitchen and was startled to see a figure at the window where he usually feeds the cats.
It turned out to be the fox that had returned, and “from then on, it comes back every day at dinner time and doesn’t leave” until Fernando feeds it.
“She seems to know the noise of the van, when I arrive, she appears”, he said, in relation to the punctuality of the animal when Fernando arrives home after a day’s work.
The fox then eats the food and “hangs around here and then disappears until the next day”.
Fernando told Lusa that he started to buy meat on purpose or collect the scraps from butcher shops for the fox.
“She’s crazy about chicken,” he says.
Fernando also observes the behaviour of the fox that eats in the place where he puts the food, but also picks it up and “takes four or five pieces in its mouth, goes who knows where, and comes back to continue eating”.
“I don’t know if it takes it to keep it”, he said.
The fox may be a male but Fernando has christened it “Linda” and guarantees that when he calls her by name she answers.
And just as she appears, she disappears into the hills until the next dinnertime, because, as Fernando stresses, “she’s still wild”.