A 3-4 week old fox cub found wandering around a garden in Seaford has been safely returned to its den by volunteer rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS).
At 5.30pm on Easter Monday rescuers were called to a house in Seaford after the residents found a cub wandering around in their garden. Within minutes rescuers were on their way. "We treat these calls as urgently as possible especially when they come in late in the day" explained Trevor Weeks, founder of East Sussex WRAS, "this is our first cub of the season and he needed to be checked on and assessed to see whether he has been abandoned or just become impatient waiting for his mum."
This time of year cubs are starting to get restless and the impatient ones will sometimes explore out of their dens but they usually only travel a very short distance from the safety of their den. This cub had wandered just 10ft away from the entrance. The residents of the house were not sure what to do and as crows were diving at the cub they decided to pick him up and call WRAS for help. WRAS were onsite within 30 minutes.
"The first thing we do when presented with a cub is check it’s condition. There are various signs which can lead to the conclusion that the cubs is or is not abandoned. This cub had a nice full stomach and was in good condition. It is then important to check the exact location where the cub was found. Luckily this cub was just wandering around next to some bushes very close to where the entrance to the den was." explained Trevor, " I lowered my head so I could listen for any other noises coming from under the shed and sure enough I could hear the sounds of other cubs."
After a full examination of the cub, WRAS rescuer Tony Neads, based in Polegate, placed the cub by the entrance to the den, the cub at first was more interested in what we were doing but fairly quickly decided to go back under the shed to join his siblings. "Trevor and I sat in a small wooden summer house in the garden for over half an hour to check to see if the cub was going to come back out again, but he didn’t" said Tony.
WRAS is urging people not to jump to the conclusion that cubs have been abandoned but to call WRAS as soon as possible for advice. "As cubs get older the vixen may move her cubs, as she can only pick them up one at a time, she will sometimes leave cubs hidden in bushes or long grass and then collect them the following night to continue moving them. These cubs should be left alone and not disturbed. A number of cubs found will be cat or dog attacked victims and will need to come in for urgent treatment others may be genuine cubs which have been abandoned as their mum has been killed or mum has abandoned her cub as there is something wrong with the cub’s health. Other times, like this little chap, they are just impatient and can’t wait for mum to return with food." said Trevor, " if in any doubt or peope have any concerns about a cub they have seen they should seek advice from either WRAS or the Fox Project as soon as possible."
"This has been a nice ending to the Easter Weekend" added Tony.
Anyone finding and concerned about a fox cub should call WRAS on 07815 078 234 or the Fox Project on 07778 909 092 for advice.
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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks, East Sussex WRAS, 07931 523958 (private)
Mobile phone video footage is available on request by contacting Trevor.