AN IRISH farmer stuck at home during lockdown has turned provider for a pair of orphaned fox cubs abandoned by their mother.
Martin Guinan enjoys a relatively peaceful existence at a farm near the idyllic village of Shannon Harbour close to the Grand Canal of Ireland.
However, things changed just over two months ago when he came across a pair of young fox cubs without their mother and in desperate need of care, as RTE reports.
With little else to occupy himself during this anxious period of lockdown, Martin began looking after the two foxes, feeding them three times a day for the past 10 weeks.
It’s proven to be a rewarding and enriching experience for the organic farmer, who has seen the two young cubs grow into strong, graceful animals.
And, in a strange turn of events, Martin thinks it may not have happened had it not been for the nationwide shutdown.
"With the restrictions, people are now noticing their surroundings more and more,” he explains to RTE.
"Before this, I wouldn't have given much heed to two fox cubs one way or another. But now I find that I'm more alert to nature and my surroundings."
Having christened the pair Rocky and Ivy, Martin knows that while he has been privileged to play a part in their development, some day they will head off into the great unknown.
"I really love watching them grow, it's really fascinating to see their individual personalities develop, but I'm careful not to get too close and respect their wild nature," he said.
Sometime friendship truly does blossom in the strangest of places.