Too curious for his own good: Rare silver fox that has been hunted to near oblivion can't resist lure of a photographer
The legendary silver fox is a creature of mystery rarely seen in the wild, and will – literally – run for the hills upon human encounters.
So as these photographs show, this particular fox is definitely one-of-a-kind as it showed no fear of neither photographer nor lens.
The captivating creature, which is a red fox with unique black colouring, has been hunted to near extinction due to its beautifully unique and precious fur.
They are extremely rare and the legendary animal is still linked to centuries-old superstitions.
Despite their reputation as bringers of misfortune, photographer Steffen Sailor who could not believe his luck when he spotted one in Canada’s Yukon Territory.
Mr Sailer, from Germany, stumbled upon the animal by complete accident during a round-the-world tour with his wife, Alexandra.
As these stunning pictures show, the 43-year-old did not only captured the mysterious animal on camera, but also managed to get unusually close to the normally shy creature.
Alexandra said: ‘When we originally came across this young silver fox we didn't even know they existed at all, so had no idea what it was before this strange encounter.
‘Steffen cautiously approached the fox and was completely astonished that it didn't run away. In fact it seemed very curious itself.
‘It actually approached Steffen and he was thrilled that this wild and extraordinary creature wanted to get to know him.'
‘It started sniffing and licking his leather hat and telephoto lens. Steffen talked to the fox in a soothing voice and it seemed to accept him as a friend because it sat down right beside him.
‘After about an hour it padded off into a bushy area and so we followed it and managed to get some lovely shots of it stretching and relaxing.
‘We were sure it was a red fox but the fur colour just didn't fit. We asked one of the rangers at a nearby park and they confirmed it was in fact a very rare silver fox.’
Silver foxes have long been called 'king of the fur-bearing animals' because of the high prices paid for their pelts and their popularity among the royal and noble throughout history.
The base colour of the fur is black with different intensities of silver varying from animal to animal.