Foxes have evolved alongside humans for thousands of years. Despite this close relationship, we really haven’t treated them with the most respect. Throughout history, foxes, with their sharp eyes and cunning minds, have often been considered as pests— like in 1893, for instance, when they became so prominent in South Australia, a ‘fox bounty’ scheme was introduced.
Despite all the stigma, in this video, you finally see a few people giving foxes the respect they deserve.
In May of 2016, the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulatory Service (WRAS) received a call about a wild fox cub.
Registered as a charity and relying on donations to run, WRAS is headed by founder Trevor Weeks who, on that day, was present to take the call.
Upon speaking to the individual, WRAS staff learned a fox cub had been spotted at the bottom of a Cooden Beach cul-de-sac drain pipe.
A family had spotted the cub the night before and done their best to help. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, they hadn’t had any luck. In an interview with Inside Edition, Weeks explained:
“(The family) left the cover off and thought the mum might be able to retrieve the cub.”
“By lunchtime the next morning it was still down there. They heard the cub crying and called us.”
Upon hearing the news, Weeks set out alongside Chris Riddington, WRAS rescue manager, and Tony Needs, a senior rescuer. Together they headed towards the Cooden Beach neighborhood to see if they could save the cub.
When WRAS arrived on the scene, they couldn’t locate the baby fox— but they did see its mother.
As they worked to help the baby, Mama hovered nearby. In the video’s caption, Riddington is quoted as saying:
“We were amazed that the vixen turned up whilst we were trying to find the cub, and it was almost as if she knew we were trying to rescue her cub.”
Sadly, the cub was nowhere in sight. The cul-de-sac’s drainpipe section connects to various other pipes, meaning the cub could have easily wandered off underground. The men didn’t want to give up, but they thought they may have better luck if they checked back in a few hours.
“It’s common for cubs to make their way back towards the entrance they came in from, so we decided to back off, take a break and then try again.”
When WRAS returned a few hours later, they could hear the cub moving around in the pipe.
Needs, the senior rescuer, decided to make an attempt. In the video, you see him laying on the ground extending his arm deep into the drain pipe hole. Then suddenly, he feels the fox cub’s fur— but he can’t get a good grip.
Using all his patience, Needs sits there waiting, until finally, the third time’s a charm.
As you can imagine, the baby fox was soaked and filthy. The rescuers brought him to the WRAS center for cleaning, before reuniting it with its mother less than 60 minutes later. And let me assure you, their reunion is the most heartwarming scene. “As soon as the cub realized mum was there, he was so excited and desperately wanted to get out of the carrier.”
“With some help from mum. he managed to climb out and mum escorted him back home again.”
“It was unbelievably emotional for us all.”
Watch the incredible rescue below.
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