Beautiful Sechuran fox pays a close visit to lucky photographers
Ecuador is home to beautiful and fascinating animals of all kinds. It is a country rich in diversity, with an abundance of wildlife on land and in the waters surrounding the Galapagos Islands.
This Sechuran fox is not typically seen in the daylight. It is a nocturnal hunter that spends most of the daytime sleeping in a burrow. But this curious fellow ventured out and even approached a pair of Canadian tourists hiking to the summit of Cotopaxi, the second-highest mountain in Ecuador. At 5,800m (more than 19,340 feet) above sea level, the air near the summit is thin, lacking oxygen. There are fewer animals that thrive at this altitude. Vegetation is scarce, and rainfall is unpredictable. But for a fox with very versatile feeding habits, this altitude doesn't pose a problem. Their primary diet consists of insects, small rodents, and even some birds, but they are also capable of surviving for long periods on a vegetarian diet.
The surrounding landscape in this location was bleak. The volcanic rock and ash are grey and almost devoid of plants. Just beyond the spot where this fox was seen is the snow line on Cotopaxi. Despite being very close to the Equator, it is cold at this elevation, and a layer of snow covered the ground.
The challenges of living at this altitude become immediately apparent to anyone hiking this trail, walking a short distance cause shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and fatigue. For some, disorientation and nausea will turn them back before they reach the summit.
This fox has become acclimatized to the altitude, and the effects will be less extreme than it is for a visitor who is not used to the conditions or the impact on the body.
This beautiful and inquisitive animal provided an unforgettable experience for these lucky tourists.