A deep freeze dive! Amazing moment red fox plunges nose first into snow while on the hunt for Christmas dinner
18:53 GMT, 25 December 2012
He's a creature not to be outfoxed.
In a series of stunning images, a red fox is pictured leaping four feet in the air before nose-diving into the snow in a bid to find mice and voles for Christmas dinner.
The show of fervor and startling accuracy came after the fox prowled around the snow-covered ground at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming to track sounds of rodents beneath.
Once the fox was certain of the creatures' movements, he balanced on his hind legs and jumped several feet into the air before plunging nose first with merciless precision.
On the prowl: A fox at Yellowstone National Park listens to track the movement of mice beneath the snow
And he's off! When he know their movements, he leaps four feet into the air to penetrate the snow
As he nuzzled into corners to capture mice, only his back legs and tail could be seen.
This unique hunting skill, which requires all of the fox's weight, is only used in deep snow.
Photographer Tin Man Lee from Thousands Oaks, California caught the amazing moment while on a trip to Yellowstone, and could not believe what he saw.
'I never knew the fox could jump so high and fast – I was in awe,' he said. 'The fox completely ignored my existence.'
Snow going back: He nose-dives into the snow to grab mice and voles beneath the surface
Determined: The scene unfolded at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming
No luck Photographer Tin Man Lee captured the moment after failing to see a red fox for six days at the park
Red foxes are among the shyest animals in the park and are rarely seen. Tin Man Lee said it took his group six days before they found this one.
'After waiting to see one in six days we couldn't believe it when it decided to hunt right in front of us,' he said. 'We were extremely lucky – it was a dream come true.'
The animals hunt rodents such as mice and voles and also eat grasshoppers and
berries, yet food is much harder to find in winter when temperatures rarely creep above zero during the day.