A mother and daughter were watching the sunrise when they stumbled upon a furry surprise along the North Carolina shore.
Laura Winter said she spotted a trio of foxes roaming the sand this week near her vacation rental home on Oak Island.
She and her 17-year-old daughter kept their distance as they saw the foxes scurrying on their neighbor’s deck, “chasing each other and rolling around,” Winter told McClatchy News in a phone interview.
“It was just fun to see foxes doing their natural thing,” she said on Wednesday, June 8. “Even though they were playing on steps of a building that’s in their environment, they were enjoying being foxes.”
She captured video of some of the animals running up and down steps, while another clip shows the three foxes playing near the shoreline in the southeastern part of the state.
North Carolina is home to two types of foxes: the red and gray species. The animals are found throughout the state and can grow to about 15 pounds, similar in size to a small dog, according to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
“Wildlife is an amazing thing,” Winter said. “We are actually farmers from the Midwest. We know and love and respect wildlife because that’s what keeps the ecosystem going.”
Winter, who lives in northwestern Illinois, said her family has been visiting the North Carolina coast for the past decade or so. But this was her first time seeing foxes in the vacation destination.
“We love Oak Island because it’s not super touristy,” the 44-year-old mother of four said. “It’s family friendly and we just get to enjoy the ocean and a different atmosphere.”