‘The UK used to have bears, wolves and lynx. People say cities are overrun by foxes – but they’re the last relic of the wilderness’

Wildlife photographers spend most of their time frustrated. I’ve been photographing urban foxes for five years, mostly in the same allotment near my home in London. Many hundreds of hours, thousands of shots, all kinds of trials and errors with flashes, remote triggers and camera traps – getting good shots is a result of belligerent bloody-minded perseverance and patience. Having said that, this was a complete grab shot and almost total luck.

I was on my knees taking a picture of another fox in the distance and heard a scramble behind me. I turned around to see the vixen with its legs splayed out like that, on the water trough. I’ve never seen a fox drinking like that before – that’s more like how giraffes drink! I only had time to take three frames before she jumped down. The first was out of focus, the second one her head was turned, but the third she was looking directly at me, and the tongue was down and those amber eyes are just so beautiful. It was a brilliant moment of luck and execution. I say it was luck – you make your own luck by being there so often.

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