A fox and her cubs take over a family's garden
Story and video from SWNS
A fox and her six babies have taken over a family's entire back garden - playing with their cubs and being hand fed.
Laura Panter, 39, first spotted a vixen in her back garden at the beginning of April. But the vixen then brought her six young kits with her - and was happily using Laura's garden as their new home and playground.
Over the past two months, the family of foxes have made quite the home for themselves in the garden in Basildon, Essex. Insurance broker Laura has has been in lockdown with her husband Russell, 45, and daughters Annie, 10, and Olive, 6.
Laura has watched the kits burying food, playing in Annie and Olive's playhouse and tossing around old shoes in the garden.
The mum of the family often take her babies out of the garden through a gap in the fence but always returns at the end of the day.
"My garden has definitely taken a battering"
The vixen has become so comfortable with her new neighbours that Russell can easily get quite close to film the kits and Laura has even fed the strong mum by hand.
Laura said: "We've become quite attached to them. I've taken loads of videos, I'm a little bit addicted as they're so cute!"
"My garden has definitely taken a battering which is a small price to pay for the experience but it's pretty frustrating as well.
"They have been digging holes all around the grass, digging up plants and make a complete mess of every angle of the playhouse - I'm surprised it hasn't caved in!
"We bought toys and food for them but they just ignore the toys and bury the food in the lawn.
"They're always playing and they're even exploring now too - there's a gap in fence at the back of our garden and the mum takes them through it and back every day.
"The mum gets well fed by us and our neighbours, she's always got a pack of ham in her mouth from somewhere.
"My husband Russell gets quite close to them to film them, the mum doesn't seem phased by us, she's pretty friendly and I've even fed her by hand which was incredible."