Melt your heart…
The house next door to me had been vacant for some time, the older lady had moved out and sold the house and with the Covid delays the sale had taken ages to go through. In the mean time, spring had sprung and it was fox cub season around the end of March.
We always had the odd fox in our gardens along our road however with the house next door being empty I noticed more traffic and then in April, I saw the babies. A mother must have given birth close by and they were using the overgrown garden as their den. There were 5 of them, the most beautiful little babies ever and I was fortunate enough to witness them up close.
I began to talk to the mother and babies as they grew and played, noticing that the mother had got so painfully thin and had a bad eye so I started feeding her. After some months of feeding them, they were used to my calls and obviously enjoyed the treats.
As a photographer and huge animal lover, I was in my element capturing this fox family growing and playing in the summer weather with every opportunity I could.
After some months, the cubs were old enough and some fled the den including the mother, and 2 remained close by, so I carried on feeding them every now and then. I didn’t want to feed them daily as I wanted them to still remain in the wild and capture their own food as nature would want it.
One morning I noticed one of the foxes on my neighbours shed roof, she (I refer to her as a she at this stage as i wast quite sure yet) was terribly thin with no hair and had two nasty looking sores on her back legs. I had remembered my vet telling me about The Fox Project and if any fox needed help, I should reach out to them straight away.
So I called them, winter was looming and it concerned me to think that this little baby with mange and sores was to survive the elements thrown at her. The Fox Project were super helpful and after they realised that the foxes came to our homes daily, they suggested we try to catch the little fox so they could treat her and then return her back to the wild.
In a few days time, they delivered a long fox cage, explained to me how to set it up with strict instructions so I could try to capture the fox. I had to ensure the cage was set up in the mornings when i usually put food out and I had to check the cage every 20 minutes as once a fox is caught they will try and bite their way out and could end up breaking their jaws. Also badgers love to play in the cages so I needed to bring the cage back in at night.
It was a Tuesday morning, I had been to the gym and was back feeding my 2 golden retriever’s, when I decided to go and set up the cage with food etc. as i was working from home and would set an alarm for every 20 minutes to go and check the cage.
Everything was ready, I stood back and prayed that the right fox would enter the cage so we could help her.
First alarm was set… no fox.
Second alarm…I took a slow walk down to the bottom of the garden and opened the back gate, there she was …. eating her breakfast. She got a fright and tried to flee when she saw me and then realised she had been captured, so i closed the gate and went to call the Fox Project and get a sheet to cover the cage. The sheet offers them a sense a safety and keeps them calm.
The Fox Project was here within the hour and we transferred the fox to a smaller cage, loaded everything into the van and that was when i got a chance to be up close with her. She was so frail, no hair, sores and not smelling good. I told her she was going to be ok….. and was so thankful we had caught her.
I called the next day to check on her and was told she was indeed a He and a dominant alpha male. He was not happy being there at all but the medication etc had begun and the sores were quite severe so there was hope he would need some time to heal and they named him Samosa.
Over the following few weeks, i checked on him and he was getting better all the time which was great.
Eventually it was time to come home…. so they brought him back to my garden and he looked a million times better. His hair had grown back and he looked super handsome. I laid out some food in his normal spot and the Fox Project let him out of his cage to return to the wild.
This made me so happy to have been part of helping a poor animal in need, and can only highly recommend the The Fox project who were amazing in supporting me and the Fox.
There are some photos of the foxes growing up for you to enjoy.