Our investigators went to the building and sure enough, there was a fox. It looked scared, and the conditions in the building were poor – bare floors, mouldy partridge carcasses and no water. We filmed the fox, then decided to step back and watch. We also alerted the police as to what we had seen.
On the day before the hunt was due to meet, a man arrived, checked in on the fox, then left. We had what we needed, so we moved in. The door was unlocked so we were able to safely capture the fox and take him to a wildlife hospital. He was dehydrated but otherwise not too poorly.
Back at the building, on the morning of the hunt, the man reappeared. He was carrying an empty sack, and a pole with a net attached. Clearly he had come to collect the fox.
But the fox wasn't there. Puzzled, he looked around for a while before leaving. It must have been very confusing for him...
A little later, the Belvoir Hunt met, just down the road.
Christmas mystery? For anyone who believes that hunts do not hunt foxes any more, this must be somewhat puzzling. Or for anyone who believes that fox hunts perform an important conservation task by removing troublesome foxes on behalf of farmers, this must also be puzzling. Why would someone capture and then release a fox, if the aim was to get rid of them?