Fox and hedgehog captured eating together on webcam

A fox and a hedgehog eating together Image copyright Jason Alexander
Image caption Hedgehogs and foxes tend to share meals between 01:00 and 03:00, wildlife enthusiast Jason Alexander said

A fox and a hedgehog have become unlikely mealtime companions.

The animals have been captured sharing food on webcams set up by wildlife enthusiast Jason Alexander, at his home in Rushmere St Andrew, Suffolk.

"You naturally think the fox will see the hedgehog as prey, so I was surprised to see them feed side by side," Mr Alexander said.

"I think there have been several of each using the feeding stations. They seem to tolerate each other."

Mr Alexander, 43, has been adding to his collection of webcams over the past two years and now has about 30 - monitoring nest boxes along with visitors to his garden's feeding stations.

Image copyright Jason Alexander
Image caption A log with unsalted peanut butter spread on it has also proved popular with animals

He said the hedgehogs feed about 10 times a night, and are most likely to be joined by a fox between 01:00 and 03:00.

"One of the first things I do each day is to sit with a cuppa and take a look at the footage from the night before," Mr Alexander said.

"I've got another hedgehog in a box. Her behaviour has changed recently and she's building a nest - I'm hoping it's a pregnant female."

Suffolk Wildlife Trust says that foxes "generally don't pose a threat to hedgehogs, but aren't completely benign".

Image copyright Jason Alexander
Image caption A hedgehog has made a home in one of Jason Alexander's boxes

Simone Bullion, senior conservation adviser, said: "There are rare incidents where foxes can prey on hedgehogs, using learned behaviour."

She said some foxes had been known to wait for a hedgehog to unroll from its defensive ball, before taking a bite at it.

"In this individual case, however, the fox does not appear to view the hedgehog as prey.

"Perhaps because of the fact that food is plentiful."

The trust is currently carrying out a survey into the number of hedgehogs in the county.

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