A BABY fox hand-raised by an Irish woman and her father has grown into a cheeky, friendly and ridiculously photogenic vixen.
'Foxy' and her littermate were orphaned after their mother was killed, and were found and subsequently adopted by Cliodhna O'Leary and her father, Donal.
Aged just three weeks, the cubs were lovingly hand-reared in the O'Leary family home in Macroom, County Cork, being fed round the clock with bottle milk and puppy nuts.
Once the pups were strong enough, Cliodhna and Donal released them back into the wild-- but the pair kept returning every day, both for the food left out for them and in response to the strong bond formed with their human adopters.
Sadly, Foxy's littermate was killed on the road while exploring near the end of the summer, but it has made Cliodhna's bond with 'Foxy' even stronger.
"They are very shy animals and will only come to me, they will run when there's strangers around," Cliodhna tells us at The Irish Post.
"But Foxy keeps coming back. She goes on walks with me and my dogs, eats out of my hand and even plays fetch!"
Foxy became a social media celebrity of sorts when Cliodhna began uploading pictures of the photogenic fox to popular Irish Facebook page 'Wild Atlantic Way'.
A photo of Foxy stopping for a drink with her pal, Cliodhna's dog Essie, garnered thousands of likes and comments, as people were astounded at the fact a vixen was palling around with a dog, many comparing it to the heartbreaking Disney classic The Fox and the Hound.
"She's great friends with the dogs," Cliodhna confirmed, with the vixen having been pictured with dogs that would traditionally have been used in hunting Foxy's kind.
Foxy's popularity grew even further when Cliodhna posted pictures of the vixen smiling placidly at the camera in an adorably goofy manner.
The vixen often has a grin on her face as she takes walks, plays fetch or just hangs around with Cliodhna and her dogs in the area near the family home in Macroom, and many of these brilliant photos make it on to Facebook.
The O'Leary family were struck by tragedy two months ago when Cliodhna's father Donal, who had helped raise Foxy from a three-week old pup, sadly passed away.
And while Foxy has always been a happy, friendly fox, she has been offering smiles more often lately-- which Cliodhna thinks could be a message from her father.
"Her smile has really picked up in the past few months," Cliodhna tells The Irish Post.
"My dad passed away two months ago. He was helping me rear them, so I think he might have something to do with the big smile every day."
Foxy has truly become part of the family, and her big personality and infectious grin is guaranteed to put a smile on anyone's face.