Outfoxed! The four-legged thief caught on camera trying to steal an egg
Last updated at 1:09 PM on 17th June 2011
It takes somebody with extra cunning to outwit a wily fox.
But German wildlife photographer Horst Jegen, 41, managed to get a close-up shot of the creature after witnessing him persistently trying to steal his kitten's dinner.
Spotting a perfect picture opportunity, Mr Jegen rigged up an elaborate trap - involving a hidden button, an egg and his trusty camera.
The pesky fox, which has been nicknamed Leo by Horst and his family, tentatively crept inside the log and grasped the egg in its jaws.
Cunning trap: The fox is captured with his nose almost touching the camera as he steals the rigged-up egg from a log in a photographer's garden in Germany
He was pictured looking rather surprised with the egg in his mouth and scurrying across the garden.
Mr Jegen set up the device after the fox continued for more than a month to intrude into the garden desperately in search of food.
The photographer placed the egg inside a hollowed log with a button underneath.
Attached to the trigger was a cable connected to his cameras shutter, which activated the second the sneaky fox poked his head in the log and swiped the egg.
And the fox's wide-eyed, startled reaction was captured perfectly - before the animal scurried back to the woodland behind the family's home.
Crafty plan: German photographer Horst Jegen, 41, made an elaborate trap - involving a hidden button, an egg and his trusty camera
There's my dinner: The fox tentatively puts a paw inside the hollow log as it fixes it sights on the egg
Escape: The startled fox makes a dash for it with the egg in its mouth having been photographed by the camera and its powerful flash
Using a second camera, Horst quickly captured the fox's majestic leap as he lunges over the garden wall and away into the dark night.
Mr Jegen, from the Eifel region of Germany, said: 'The wild fox visits my garden every night looking for food - and even has the cheek to steal my cats dinner.
Plan: Mr Jegen in his garden in Germany where he first spotted the fox trying to steal food
'The fox was scared at first as it was a really wild one. He was also very nosey.
'Every day I put a different piece of food in a different place so he has to find it.
'This time I decided it would be a good idea to get a picture of him close up, and used the egg as bait.
'He almost always finds the food - maybe only failing to find it on two occasions - so I was pretty confident of getting the shot.
'I saw him a few times before he crept into the garden for food. At one point we looked each other in the eye and I thought he might run off, ruining my chances of the shot.
'Thankfully he didn't.' The elaborate camera set up has enabled Horst to snap these stunning images of the fox as he pokes his head through the end of the the log to grab the enticing egg.
Mr Jegen was then captured the sneaky fox as he slopes off towards the woodland, leaping spectacularly off of a felled tree and over his garden wall.
The wildlife photographer, who began taking pictures when he was just 15, added: 'The fox is like another member of the family now. We have named him Leo and started to train him to jump from the tree to the wood blocks where I often place the food.
'In the beginning, the distance between the tree and the wood-blocks was just 20 cm.
'But every few days I make the distance bigger - now it is up to two metres'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2004662/Outfoxed-The-legged-thief-caught-camera-trying-steal-egg.html#ixzz1PXV3mXhX