Monday, June 15, 2009

Fox Family Tragedy, May 28, 2009

This morning I am holding my breath, awaiting the sun and the time the foxes usually emerge to play. Last night, when I drove home around ten, I saw a small body lying dead beside the highway near where I live. I know the mother fox often hunted for road kill to feed her family and brought some odd pieces of animal to her den that she would not have been able to get as live prey.

I parked my car and want back to take a closer look. Sure enough, the small animal was a lactating fox. Was this my fox? I will be able to tell for sure when sunshine comes into the yard, but I am next to sure. I heard the babies moving around a lot last night. They must be hungry and getting dehydrated. My worst fear, next to how am I going to rescue them if they are orphans, is that they will get too weak to come out of the den and I won't be able to trap them.

Around 5 this morning I set a dish out with egg mixed with water. It has not been touched. The mother would have drunk it, I am sure, if she had been here. However, I am not sure the puppies know how to lap yet. I have seen them go to the little pond and just sniff. They are just beginning to chew on meat. Yesterday they tore around with a gopher and begin actually trying to eat it. I am thawing some ground turkey to put out.

In this area we are fortunate to have several very caring people who devote some or all of their lives to wildlife rescue. Not only am I nervously waiting for the sun to rise, but also for time to get more reasonable for a phone call. What will become of little foxes that have human contact without a mom to teach them how to be a fox. If these are orphans, I am praying for a good ending.

Attached are two photos. One I took yesterday, of the mother with baby. So sweet. The other is of the runt next to my wheelbarrow filled with stuff for the recycling depot. You can see from the size comparison how tiny this and the other foxes are. They are only about 10 weeks old.

I'll keep you posted.


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