Close Encounters With Stinky

Marie with Arctic Fox

Allow me to introduce Stinky… he’s an Arctic fox cub who I got to know very well on our trip to Greenland. Allow me to explain…

We’d left the ship for one of our last landings and Ali and I were scouring the landscape, enjoying taking pictures of tiny trees and Ptarmigans. I was out of Ali’s sight when I heard a gasp from above me – two fellow passengers who been relaxing on the rocky hillside above me had an Arctic fox prowling towards them. I looked up and eye-balled the fox. A shiver ran down my spine as he squeezed past the passengers and continued his descent down the hillside. I had little time to react and was petrified that my movements might scare him off so I decided to do away with subtlety and the moment he temporarily averted his gaze from me I threw myself over the nearest bolder to steady my camera.  Here I waited….

My patience paid off, and the fox ambled slowly towards me, never faltering. With my heart pounding in my ears, he came closer and closer, ever inquisitive at my presence. My stone-like stance did not waver as he ran around me, taking every opportunity to interact, even sniffing my back as I lay on the rock. After a few playful minutes he ran off, alerted by the presence of other people, keen to explore further. It was then I sat up and realised why he’d been so inquisitive …I had inadvertently thrown myself into a pile of wet and fresh fox dung. No wonder I was so appealing!

Alistair with Arctic Fox

Additional images from our adventures in the Arctic are available in our Taraji Blue Arctic Photo Gallery.

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