Animal Rescue

It was Easter last weekend and my parents were visiting. On Saturday I had walked the dog in the fields north of Histon and shortly after entering the field another dog walker told me there was a fox cub (Vulpes vulpes, Dansk: rød ræv) in the undergrowth I had just walked past. So I retraced my steps and sure enough there was this adorable little creature exploring the parapet of the ditch:

It’s body was only 6-7 inches long and I guessed it was the boldest of a litter which had taken the opportunity to wander whilst the mother was out hunting. So I took a few photographs and left it to it’s own devices, and when I completed my loop it was no longer there so I assumed it had returned to the den.

The following day my mother accompanied us for a walk in the hope it was still there, and indeed there it was in exactly the same place, but this time it seemed considerably emboldened and I was extremely concerned that a pet dog may kill it as this was right on a very popular dog walking route. My mother decided that my father should see it and she was going to return and fetch him, so I carried on to walk the dog.

When I got back my mother had been told by someone who lives close by that the vixen had been killed and the cub was orphaned so she rescued it and when I got back it was in a box on top of the piano. Which left me with a dilemma: what does one do with an orphaned fox cub at 4pm on Easter Sunday? It proved to be tricky to find somewhere that took wild animals, so in the end I rang up Wood Green Animal Shelter at Godmanchester, which is only about 12  miles from here, in the hope they would know somewhere that would take the little orphan. And luck was with us, they made some enquiries and gave me the phone number of a lady who lived fairly close by who had reared orphaned fox cubs in the past and was prepared to take ours. So self, mother, the children and the boxed up fox cub were bundled into the car and off we went, and an hour later our little cub was in the hands of someone who was skilled in the art of looking after wild foxes. Result!

It turned out to be a 3-4 week old vixen, who apart from being dehydrated seemed to be in reasonably good shape. She was expected not only to survive but was to be passed on to a wildlife sanctuary for eventual release into the wild. My fingers are crossed that this happens and she has at least one litter of her own cubs. I’m going to try to find out how she does and if I can get an update I’ll let you know.

49 responses to “Animal Rescue

  1. Pingback: Animal Rescue – Newsflash 28/04/2012 | The Naturephile

  2. What a beautiful story and happy outcome ! Thanks for your care and for sharing those adorable pictures with us.

  3. Amazing story and amazing photos, as well!

  4. What a lovely little story punctuated with adorable photos. I’m so glad you managed to help the cub and I hope she goes on to have a long and happy life. I do hope you’re able to give us an update some time in the future, it would be nice to know how she’s getting on. A nice thing to happen with your parents visiting too, a story they can take to their friends back home.

  5. could this be any cuter?

  6. Beautiful photographs. I wonder what really happened to her mother. And littermates?

    • Hello Anne, yes, I wonder too.

      Foxes do get shot round here and they get killed on the Cottenham Road too, and the den was only about 50m from the road. As for the other cubs, I reckon they’ve wandered too and been killed by dogs or they’re dead in the den. It’s sad, but that’s the way it is.

  7. Fantastic! Good for you!

  8. Lovely comments Finn, hope we get to know how baby fox is developing.

  9. How special…pretty baby!! Good for you, Finn. 🙂

  10. As Sofia stated above, Beautiful story with beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing this.

    No matter what opinion people have of foxes, those images in your beautifully written account must strike a chord with each and everyone.

    Best Wishes

    Tony Powell

    • Thanks Tony, I find it difficult to imagine how anyone can have a bad opinion of foxes. Folk who have their chickens taken are simply incompetent fence builders, the foxes are only doing what they need to do to survive.



  11. Well done, Finn. A beautiful creature. Fingers crossed, indeed.

  12. Excellent story and well done you, and indeed mum, I would have loved to have been there when you first saw it on top of the piano! 🙂

  13. Thank you for doing the right thing and taking it for some help. I’m a little irritated at the lady that knew the parent was dead but didn’t take any steps. Thank goodness you came along !

    • Hello Kay, please don’t be too quick to judge. The original lady had called the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Protection of Animals) to find out what to do and had been told by them that they wouldn’t take a wild fox and the best thing to do was to leave it be in case the mother did return. So it’s the RSPCA that I’m unhappy with, they should have contact details of rescue centres to contact in such events but they were terribly unhelpful.

      But it all came good in the end!

      • thanks for more details on the story. That makes a lot of sense how it all played out. Unfortunately often you do need to call around a dozen places before getting some help. Yes RSPCA should have those resources for people. I can’t believe they dont! In any case, so glad it worked out for the little guy !

      • Indeed, it all came good in the end!

  14. Unfortunately, here foxes wreak havoc with wildlife – nevertheless this one is very cute and you are good to have rescued it!

    • Hello Julie, they’re not so destructive here although anyone who keeps chickens will beg to differ. Are your foxes native Oz foxes or are they European imports? It seems that every time humans introduce a species, especially a predator as efficient as the the fox, it ends in disaster.

  15. Beautiful story with beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing this.

  16. You’re a good steward, Finn–isn’t it a great feeling? During my time in practice, it was always a special joy when I had the chance to treat and help injured and orphaned animals, and I’ve actively participated in wildlife rehabilitation since my retirement. I salute you and share your delight in taking those extra steps to help a fellow critter in need. Looking forward very much to your updates!

    • Hello Gary, I must reciprocate the salutation for your voluntary rehabilitation work. It must be incredibly rewarding when you successfully rehabilitate a wild creature.

  17. Good for you, Finn! What a great story and beautiful photos. Years ago we lived by a golf course that was home to many foxes. We used to watch the young ones playing in the sand traps. They were so adorable!

  18. Wow, Finn! What a wonderful and touching story. Any chance you could get more photographs and document this sweet baby’s progress for a children’s non-fiction story for publication?! Thank you for doing all that you have done to make sure this little one has a such a great chance for the future. I can’t wait to show your photographs to my daughter!

    • Hello Melanie, that’s a good idea to turn it into a childrens story. I plan to speak to the rescue lady later for an update so I’ll ask if I can get more photographs.

  19. Wonderful photos and story also. A very wonderful Easter day 🙂

  20. This is a wonderful story with a happy ending! I’ve never seen a fox cub before – she’s so cute! You must be happy that things turned out so well…

  21. What a beautiful post and this vixen was lucky!! I would like to thank you not only for sharing this lovely post, but more to have taken care of this creature!! And..the photo’s are adorable 🙂

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