The Fox Man Blog
August and September have been relatively quiet months fox-wise, although I have dealt with five foxes, as well as having two escapees who managed to get loose from their traps before I managed to pick them up (hey, they don’t call foxes wiley for nothing!). Of those five, three were Road Traffic Accident (RTA) cases. Unfortunately, two of the foxes had to be put to sleep as injuries were too bad. Thankfully though, one of them, Minnie, who was picked up from the middle of a Manchester road with traffic going past, by a brave lady, did not exhibit any serious wounds. After being checked over by a vet for fractures and having a Frontline spray and an ivermectin injection to kill off a few skin mites, she was released the next evening back into the area she was found, and ran straight into a nearby park. This is the time of year cubs are beginning to disperse from their home territories. Hence why the number of calls about foxes injured on the roads tends to overtake the number of calls I get about foxes with mange. Two of the foxes I have been dealing with over August/September are cubs, both suffering from varying degrees of mange: Kirk and Evie, from Liverpool and the Wirral respectively. Kirk was found at a train station in Liverpool where his siblings had been killed by trains, and it was only a matter of time before he suffered the same fate. Rather than release him back into the area when treatment finished, Kirk has gone to one of my release sites with another orphaned cub where he will undergo a soft release, meaning he will be kept in a release pen for 4 weeks before the door is opened and he can come and go as he pleases, whilst food will still be made available until he and the other cubs he is released with find their own way. Evie is currently still under my care after she was trapped after being spotted suffering from sarcoptic mange, which can be fatal if not treated. She has had an injection to kill the mange mites as well as antibiotics for a bad skin infection that was associated with a strong yeasty smell. She will be ready for her next injection on Monday 26th September, 2 weeks after her initial injection. This will kill off any mites that have hatched from eggs since her first injection. Visually she’s shown massive improvement and behaviourally is still wild at heart and displays fear towards humans, which is an integral factor for her survival in the streets of Wirral, where unfortunately not all members of the public are fox friendly. Considering she’s only been in for less than 2 weeks it’s been an amazing turnaround. I am currently attempting to trap a fox in Crewe with what I believe to be a fractured leg, as well as a fox in Oldham (one of the aforementioned escapees) with two injured legs – a back and front leg. I’m hoping in both cases if legs are fractured then they are clean breaks which can be operated on and fixed, which is something that we will do regardless of cost, if it is a viable option. It’s hard to judge in a lot of cases if foxes have sprains or breaks, as it’s quite common for them to sprain their legs as they do a lot of jumping over fences. If their legs are at a funny angle/clearly wounded or if the injury has presented itself for over 2 weeks, I would be inclined to put a trap out for the fox. Otherwise, I am able to offer a homeopathic painkiller arnica, to put in food for thefox to see if there is an improvement. Trapping a fox invariably leads to stress, and is therefore always a last resort. If you are ever in need of a bit of advice about your resident foxes, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. Even for those who aren’t keen on our ginger neighbours, I do offer a non-lethal deterrence service and advice to keep everyone happy.