A fox by any other name

A Virginia man was walking his dog along a country road and found a little newborn animal on the berm of the road. He assumed it was an abandoned kitten and took it to the Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She was less than 24 hours old and her umbilical stump was still attached. The center identified the baby as a red fox not a kitten. Wildlife center staff tried to track down the kit’s (baby’s) mother and her den site in hopes of reuniting the family. They found the den site, but were told by the grounds superintendent that the foxes had been trapped and carted away. They suspect the fox kit either fell out of a trap or off the back of the trapper’s truck. Volunteers at the center took turns caring for the baby fox, but they did not want to have the kit fox think these people were her mother.  “It’s important to make sure that the orphans that are raised in captivity do not become imprinted upon or habituated to humans. To prevent that, we minimize human sounds, create visual barriers, reduce handling, reduce multiple transfers amongst different facilities, and wear masks for the species.  The goal is to release animals back into the wild, not only to give them a greater chance of survival, but to recognize their own species and to reproduce to carry on their wildlife population,” Melissa said.

Melissa Stanley, executive director of the Richmond Wildlife Center in Virginia, is pictured  dressed as a red fox while feeding an orphaned kit from a syringe. The adorable furball is pictured cuddling up to a smaller stuffed fox toy in her enclosure. Staff at the center take turns feeding the fox kit every two to four hours wearing the fox mask to make sure she does not get used to humans. All those steps make it more likely the kit could be reintroduced into the wild someday. Every one while wearing the uncanny fox mask covering the entire head. Wildlife rescuers shared the video below of an official wearing a red fox mask while syringe-feeding an orphaned kit.  The center had earlier put out a call on social media for supplies including the purportedly realistic mask.

The center said rescuers have been in contact with another rehabilitation facility about fox kits that are the same approximate age and weight. They said officials are determining the best way for the female kit to be “with other foxes her own age.” Wearing masks while caring for newborn animals is not an uncommon practice. In 2022, a wildlife sanctuary in China had its workers dress in panda outfits covered with bear feces and urine in an attempt to erase the panda’s memory of human contact.

Foxy funnies

How do you turn a fox into an elephant?
Marry her.

What is the difference between a dog and a fox?
About 6 beers. 

Disney World: a people trap operated by a mouse.

The frustrated store owner complained to the hardware salesman. You told me these mouse traps were wonderful for mice and all the customers are bringing them back complaining they have not caught one mouse in any of them.”
The salesman’s reply, “Well, isn’t that wonderful for the mice?” 

March 14th Birthdays

1833 – Lucy Hobbs, 1968 – Megan Follows, 1942 – Rita Tushingham, 1998 – Simon Biles

1933 – Quincy Jones, 1948 – Billy Crystal, 1879 – Albert Einstein, 1989 – Stephen Curry

Morning Motivator: