"a phantasmagoria, a real one .... images often changing so quickly, so unpredictably that
you're apt now and then to get a bit of lime-green in with your rose, as they say"
–-Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow
[current home of millison.com, millison.org, dougmillison.com]
As I discuss in my book The Emotional Lives of Animals, we know that individuals of many species hold rituals for those who have departed, saying their good-byes in their species-specific ways. I've observed a magpie funeral, llamas, turltes, and otters grieve the loss of friends, and gorillas are known to hold wakes. I don't know if the female fox was intentionally trying to bury her friend, but there's no reason to assume she wasn't. Perhaps she was grieving and I was observing a fox funeral. I have no doubt that foxes and other animals have rich and deep emotional lives. Back in 1947 a naturalist on the East Coast saw a male fox lick his mate as she lay dead. He also protected her quite vigorously. Perhaps he too was showing respect for a dead friend.
…from: The Emotional Lives of Animals: A leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy, Sorry, and Empathy - and Why They Mastter by Ph.D. Marc Bekoff