By Rebecca Lewis @RebeccaSLewis
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The savage animals tumbled down a snowy Iceland mountainside and crashed onto the rocky beach below during the vicious struggle.
Wildlife photographer Einar Gudmann caught the violent encounter on camera.
He had been sleeping in his warm shelter when he was suddenly woken by howling.
After emerging into the bitter sub-zero temperatures, he spotted a female and male fox copulating.
But the pair weren’t alone – a third Arctic fox lurked nearby.
Without warning the single fox emerged and began to growl and howl at the pair.
Wiggling free, the female ran for the hills while the two male foxes began to fight.
Einar said: “The female’s partner managed to grab and get a firm bite over the eye and under the jaw of the single one.
“He used this to push the single one into the sea between the rocks. Splashes went bursting into all direction and moments later the single one was completely submerged and wet.
“Heavy and wet it was obvious at this moment that he had lost the fight. Now it was no longer a matter of fighting to kill, it was a matter of survival.
“He tried to run but got no mercy from his opponent.
“He finally managed to get into a dry area on the beach where they kept fighting. Heavily wounded and soaking wet he managed to run up the snowy hill but had trouble getting over the snow-bank at the top.”
Meanwhile, the victorious fox shook off the shock of the brief yet aggressive fight and began a search of its female partner which had fled to the snowy mountainside.
Einar added: “In the distance a wounded and vanquished arctic fox struggled the last steps up the snow-bank above the beach and started to hobble up the mountain.
“He had been beaten. The cold night would probably be his last one.”