FINDING a fox among the chickens must be every farmer’s nightmare.
But it’s not often one decides to curl up and use a nest of chicken eggs as a bed – keeping them warm and intact while it rests.
This cunning fox looks a bit startled at having been found by schoolchildren at Flying Bull Primary School in Buckland, Portsmouth.
But it stayed as still as a statue while quick-thinking office manager Jane France took a few snaps.
The 57-year-old said: ‘I don’t suppose I’ll ever take another photo like that.
‘The chickens were quite happily scratching around in the garden, oblivious to the fox in their coop keeping the eggs warm.’
The fox had managed to sneak into the hut in the environmental area at the school.
The intruder was only discovered at lunchtime by a group of pupils – known as ‘egg monitors’ – when they went to collect eggs and feed the chickens.
Jane said they ran excitedly into her office to tell her about the bizarre sight.
She said: ‘The children who saw the fox were amazed they had got so close to a wild animal.
‘As luck would have it, my camera was on my desk as I had earlier taken some staff photos so I took the camera with me to have a look.
‘I went into the coop and there in the corner was this beautiful fox sitting very still and quite unperturbed.
‘What struck me was that it was a beautiful example.
‘We have previously had foxes running through our grounds and they are generally thin and in very poor condition.
‘Our fox had a beautiful bushy tail and its coat looked in good condition.’
With the chickens roaming free most of the morning, Jane said they had no idea how long their foxy friend had been there.
She added: ‘A colleague went into the shed after me and had a word with the fox and it left shortly after.
‘All the eggs were intact and the chickens seemed none the wiser.’