Fox Released after Plastic Tub Stuck on Head Brighton

A fox cub with a plastic tub stuck on his head has been released back home after 5 days in a Veterinary Hospital.

On 19th April East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS)  were asked if they could help catch a fox cub in Brighton with a plastic tub stuck on his head. 

WRAS’s founder Trevor Weeks was asked to attend and assess the situation. Once on site Trevor could fully understand how difficult the rescue as going to be.   The fox cub was in a garden behind an NHS building in Kemp Town, very close to the Royal Sussex County Hospital.  The only way in and out was via a set of concrete steps.  The garden had been allowed to over grow and there was a den in the corner. 

Trevor had no idea if the cub was in the den or underneath all the vegetation in the garden, so waited for five more rescuers to arrive before staking out the site waiting for the cubs to appear.  The healthy ones and mum started moving around once it was dusk, but there was no sign of the youngster with the plastic tub on his head. After three hours of patiently waiting, it was too dark to continue. 

Rescuers returned the following morning and noticed the healthy cubs were playing under some vegetation. Rescuers blocked off their access to the den and went into the vegetation hoping the cub with plastic tub might be there too. It was then that they discovered another den which the cubs had vanished into.   Rescuers backed off from the garden with just one rescuer hidden on a wooden bench in the centre and the other rescuers waiting patiently above in a car park looking down on the garden waiting to see if the cub would appear. At this stage, rescuers were not even sure if the plastic tub was still on the cub’s head.

After about an hour, rescuer Charlotte spotted the cub in the corner of the garden bumping into tree roots and vegetation, so she quickly rushed down to the garden and as quietly as possible tried to sneak behind the cub to stop it going back down the den.  Luckily, the cub’s vision was impaired due to the tub being very dirty.   After a bit of a battle with the vegetation Charlotte was able to grab the cub and bring her up to the ambulance for a check over.

The tub was stuck right round the cub’s head, and was squashing one of his ears flat. When the tub was removed, there was a horrible smell of skin infection and lots of muck which was all hot and humid because of the tub.  She was driven to WRAS’s Casualty Centre at Whitesmith where WRAS’s vet Mike had a look and gave the cub a good clean. It was decided to give antibiotics for 5 days.  She was treated and monitored by WRAS’s Care Team until today (Friday 24th April)  where  she was taken back to Brighton.

Rescuers had to check the area to ensure her fellow cubs were still present, which they soon spotted.  She was taken into the vegetation and released where she needed a little encouragement to go. Rescuers ensured she went in the correct direction and down one of the den’s holes back to her brother and sisters.

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