Was this one of Britain's rarest animals spotted wandering around a Northampton back garden?

Chron reader Rob catches black fox out for a stroll on video
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These are strange times for all of us, but maybe there's not been much stranger than this creature spotted in a Northampton back garden.

Chron reader Rob Anzalone spotted the four-legged animal wandering around the houses in Delapre after dark.

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But his alarm and concern for neighbours has turned to curiosity that the creature could be a species of fox ranked among the rarest animals in Britain.

Rob said: "I've been waiting up til 2am to see if it comes back, but not managed to spot it again.

"We thought it was just a cat at first but then we looked closer and it's huge, and it's got a big bushy tail. So we had a chat, did some research and we think it is definitely a black fox.

"These things are very rare, apparently, but there's nothing else it can be. We'd love to know for sure."

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The special fox — also called a silver fox — is considered Britain’s rarest animal, as it gets its dark colouring from a super-rare genetic defect and has only been spotted a handful of times in recent history.

Security lights pick up the mysterious animal wandering aroundSecurity lights pick up the mysterious animal wandering around
Security lights pick up the mysterious animal wandering around

There is even a website devoted to sightings.

They largely disappeared from the UK after being extensively hunted for their distinctive fur.

A spokesman for blackfoxes.co.uk said: "The black fox is a rare sight in the UK and is something of a mythological creature.

"This melanistic or black version of the red fox carries a recessive gene that means it's appearance in nature is a rare occurrence indeed.

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"In recent years, there appears to be a return of the melanistic gene to the UK fox population and the number of unusually coloured fox sightings has increased as a result."

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