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What does the frozen fox finder say?
Culture & Life

What does the frozen fox finder say?

1 15.01.2017 From our online archive
Jäger Franz Stehle became an unwitting social media hit last week after cutting out a frozen fox from the icy waters of the River Danube and posting photos. Now the 61-year-old has responded to critics.

(ADW) Franz Stehle became an unwitting social media hit last week after cutting out a frozen fox from the icy waters of the River Danube and posting photos. Now the 61-year-old has responded to critics.

It was last Thursday and Friday that curious photos of a ginger fox encased in ice like a giant ice cube, began to emerge on the internet triggering a big response from around the world.

But Stehle, owner of a guest house just a few metres away from the banks of the River Danube in the picturesque region of Germany's Black Forest, actually first spotted the poor animal at the end of December. "I saw the fox's back shimmering from the ice", he said. "I took him out with a chainsaw at the beginning of January."  

However after removing the fox, not all of the animal was actually frozen and its legs were sticking out of the big ice cube."We put him in a tub with water, so they also became ice," explained Stehle.

Over on social media though, there were several critics of the photos stating that they could be fake. 

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On Luxemburger Wort's English website one reader said, "I call bullsh*t! The fox in the middle picture is not the same as the other two. It's ears are flattened and it's muzzle is pointing horizontal. The one in the other two pictures has pointed ears and it's muzzle is pointing down."  But another reader was quick to point out that "ice does distort proportions depending on the angle." A third reader chimed in,"I suspect fake too!" 

But Stehle assures that nothing was fake and his theory is that "the animal was probably curious of the brittle ice and fell in." 

The fox finder explained why he placed the frozen animal on display by the side of the river. "I wanted to put it on the bank, as a memorial, so that no one dares to go on the ice. People should have respect for nature."  

But the sight of the rather fantastic Mr Fox will only last as long as temperatures remain low. “When the ice thaws, we have to give the fox to an animal body removal organisation," concluded Stehle.