orphaned fox cubs released back into the wild near Burnham
orphaned fox cubs are running free and wild once more thanks to
a team of wildlife rescuers near Burnham-On-Sea.
been a long road from rescue to rehabilitation to release for
the cubs - who have been hand-reared at Secret World Wildlife
Rescue in East Huntspill - and are finally making a new life for
Piran and friends were rescued back in the Spring. Piran was found
alone under a shed in Bristol, just a few days old. His mother
did not return so he was brought to Secret World and was joined
by Ed, another orphaned fox cub rescued in Crewkerne.
cubs were hand-reared by animal carers at the wildlife charity
in East Huntspill and were joined by five more orphans rescued
in Minehead - Rory, Rufus, Rueben, Reamus and Demelza.
they were weaned, the seven friends spent the summer in an outdoor
pen at Secret World, away from human contact so they could run,
play, forage, socialise and develop natural fox behaviours to
prepare them for a life in the wild.
Secret World's Release Coordinator Tristan Cooper was busy finding
a new wild home for the foxes.
lovers Charlie and her husband were delighted to help. They released
foxes from Secret World on their farm last year and have a permanent
'soft-release' enclosure set up within woodland on their five
seven foxes moved in to the enclosure and spent a couple of weeks
getting used to their new surroundings. Then the big day came.
an hour before dusk, Charlie opened the door of the enclosure
and the foxes were free to take their first steps into the wild.
Some of them couldn't wait to leave, but others were more cautious.
the end of the following day they had all left the enclosure,"
says Charlie. "We left the door open, so the foxes could
go back in if they wanted to, but none of them did. For the first
five days they didn't stray far, but then we saw them less and
less, and five of them have now moved on, leaving two - a dog
and a vixen - who we now think are living quite close by, along
with another fox which we think is one that we released last year."
noticed with last year's group too that a small number seem to
stay and the rest disperse. We'll try and scan their microchips
when we can, so we know which foxes are still around."
adore all wildlife and we love having foxes on our land. There's
a lot of misinformation about foxes, badgers and buzzards out
there, but if people spent time watching them they would realise
that they are lovely animals, each with their own part to play
in the ecology of wildlife. Foxes actually help farmers by keeping
rat and rabbit numbers down. Wildlife takes care of itself if
you leave it alone."
fox cubs are just seven of over 5,000 animals rescued by Secret
World in 2015. 1,177 of these were orphans, like these cubs who
needed round-the-clock care.
charity expects to help even more babies in 2016, and is appealing
for urgent funds to give their skilled volunteers the right equipment
to do the best possible job.
Readers can give wildlife orphans a second chance by supporting
Secret World's Christmas appeal, to equip the charity's wildlife
crèche with incubators, bottle and sterilising kits at