It’s Over: A 5-Year Hunt For Rambo the Fox Comes To An End

A red fox nicknamed Rambo managed to avoid 10,400 traps, 3,500 poison baits, 73 stakeouts, 55 days of scent-tracking dogs, and 97 infrared cameras filming 40 hours a week in an attempt to have him removed from a sprawling wilderness known as the Pilliga Scrub in New South Wales, Australia. He was a fantastic fox that derailed a multi-million-dollar plan to reintroduce endangered native species into one of Australia’s largest forests. Rambo — named for Sylvester Stallone’s action hero — couldn’t be lured with baits or trapped using snares like other feral animals. Operations Manager Wayne Sparrow said he knew he had to bring his A-game to catch the clever fox. As the hunt for Rambo stretched into years, Sparrow brought in Indigenous trackers, ex-military assassins, soft-jaw trap specialists, and even a hunting dog breeder who claimed to have a “fox finder” beagle. Every one of them came, tried, and left empty-handed. Finally, Mother Nature did what a long line of hunters, scientists, and rangers couldn’t. Poor Rambo died during one of two flooding events. Soon after the discovery, the endangered animals were relocated to the area. As for Sparrow, he’s just glad the hunt is over. “Rambo will always be in my thoughts, but he has finally left my dreams.”