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Rare red fox pups caught on video for the first time

By Ben Hooper
Rare red fox pups caught on video for the first time
Experts said these rare Sierra Nevada red fox pups are the first ever caught on video. Screenshot: Storyful

DESCHUTES NATIONAL FOREST, Ore., June 8 (UPI) -- A wildlife camera in Oregon captured rare footage of a family of Sierra Nevada red foxes, thought to be one of the most endangered animals in North America.

The Oregon Zoo said Jon Nelson, wildlife curator at the High Desert Museum, located what he believed to be a Sierra Nevada red fox den with pups earlier this spring, and his theory was confirmed when a wildlife camera along the Cascade Mountain Range in the Deschutes National Forest caught footage of the family.

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The video, captured April 5 but just released to the public Tuesday, shows three pups roughhousing under the watchful eyes of their mother and father.

"Not only is it the first natal den of the animal ever discovered in the region," Nelson said. "It's the first time that pups have been recorded on video."

Nelson said the identity of the foxes was confirmed by a fur sample sent to the University of California-Davis canine genetics lab.

The wildlife camera is one of 16 set up in the Deschutes National Forest with assistance from the Oregon Zoo Foundation's Future for Wildlife program.

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