AN IRISH farmer has struck up a surprising new friendship with a wild fox during lockdown.
Farmers and foxes have, historically speaking, never really seen eye to eye.
That certainly used to be the case for retired dairy farmer Tony Bergin.
But things changed just over two months ago when the 90-year-old was ordered to stay indoors at his home near Roscrea as part of the government’s strict measures for halting the spread of coronavirus.
Lockdown has proven a trying time for everyone, especially those forced to cocoon at home away from their immediate family and friends.
Tony, however, soon found himself in good company, as RTE reports.
At some point during those early, uncertain, weeks a wild fox began paying him regular visits.
Over time, an understanding and, eventually, friendship developed between the pair.
Now, most evenings after dinner, the 90-year-old heads out to his yard to catch up with his pal.
After a few whistles, Tony is able to coax his furry companion out for a bite to eat.
The pair’s bond is so strong, in fact, the retired farmer is even able to feed the fox from his lap.
Tony told RTE the visits have provided a welcome respite from the boredom of life in lockdown.
"I'm really glad that this happened, and I look forward every evening to the fox's visit," he said.
"He comes nearly every evening when I call him."
The pair are so close, in fact, Tony has even given him a name inspired by the coronavirus pandemic.
"I call him Covi, after Covid-19, and I hope he doesn't get it or give it to me," Mr Bergin joked.
This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.