A tender tale of rescue and care: the orphaned fox club at Richmond Wildlife Center

Richmond Wildlife Center staff don a fox mask to nurse an orphaned cub, hoping to minimize imprinting and facilitate reintroduction into the wild

The Richmond Wildlife Center in Virginia has captured hearts with touching footage showcasing their dedication to caring for an orphaned fox cub. Shared on their Facebook page, the video is a testament to the sweetness of their endeavor.

We see Executive Director Melissa Stanley going to great lengths to emulate a mother fox caring for her young. She wears a fox mask and rubber gloves, feeding the little one with a syringe.

The team’s careful measures aim to minimize human imprinting on the orphan, making its eventual release back into the wild more straightforward. The cub arrived at the center on February 29 after a man, thinking it was a kitten while walking his dog in a Richmond alley, found it.

The cub will be released into the wild as soon as it is ready

Mistaken for a kitten, it was handed over to the Richmond Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The cub was less than 24 hours old, its umbilical stump still attached. Initially, the center’s staff attempted to locate the cub’s mother and den to reunite them.

Although they found the den location, the foxes had been captured and removed. Likely, the fox cub fell from a trap or the back of a hunter’s truck. With no mother, the center’s staff took turns feeding the cub every two to four hours. A small plush red fox was also placed in its enclosure, which, as the video shows, was greatly appreciated.

Efforts were made to find other red fox cubs of similar age and weight to allow the orphan to grow up with its kind, improving its chances of surviving in the wild. Three were found at a rehabilitation center in Northern Virginia.

Now, the fox cubs will be moved to the Animal Education and Rescue Organization, with hopes of releasing them into their natural habitat once they’re ready for independent living.

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