Featured Image Credit: YouTube/The Dodo
A family which rescued a fox cub from their garden and nursed it back to health found a genius way to reunite it with its mother – and it worked.
Gen and her 5-year-old daughter found the fox cub trapped between her and her neighbour’s fence last year during lockdown. The poor thing looked as though it had fallen down between the fence, as it was stuck laying on its back with its limbs in the air.
Gen put some gloves on and carefully freed the cub from the fence, but it was clear he was shocked and injured from the ordeal.
“Once I picked it up, I saw that it was really quite poorly and when I put it down, it couldn’t even move,” said Gen.
She contacted their local wildlife rescue charity, but they said they couldn’t help because the COVID-19 lockdown meant they had reduced staff numbers. Gen decided she wasn’t going to let the cub die and nursed it back to health.
“We just fed him and kept him warm and clean,” explained Gen. “He got stronger really quickly.”
The fox (who they nicknamed Foxee) slowly began to regain his strength and was able to walk, only a few feet at first, Gen explained.
“It was very much that feeling of when your child takes its first steps. You’re a bit shocked, but so, so, proud,” said David, Gen’s partner.
Once Foxee had recovered, Gen said it became clear he was looking for his family, so they started to put him in a box outside in the garden for periods of time with some food and water, in hope his family might come looking for him.
At first, there was no sign of the mother. But then one night, it was clear something had visited Gen and David’s garden in search of Foxee. The family came down the next morning shocked to see the garden had been torn apart. It was clear the mamma fox had come looking for her cub.
You can watch Foxee getting reunited with his mother in the video player below.
“Foxee’s mum came into the garden and started just going berserk,” explained David, as footage showed a trampoline, toys and other items from their garden chewed up and torn apart.
“Trying to think about what she must have been going through to destroy so much of our stuff,” said Gen. “We thought we’ve got to give them a good chance to get them back together.”
“We thought the best way to reunite them is if she can hear him calling,” said Gen. That’s when a genius idea came to them.
David attached a washing basket to a long piece of rope and placed Foxee underneath it. Meanwhile, he held onto the rope out of sight from the upstairs window. When they saw the fox’s mother coming, David would pull the basket up and let Foxee go to his mother.
Low and behold, the plan worked. After just 15 minutes of Gen and David staking out the garden, ready to release the cub, his mother jumped over the fence and came into the garden.
Gen thinks the mama fox had been waiting for the garden to be empty and quiet for her to come and reclaim her cub. It took a while, but eventually, the mama fox heard the cub calling and she came to take him back to his family.
“She picked him up and carried him away,” said Gen. “We were just elated, really, that it had worked and that Foxee was gonna get a happy ending.”