WATCH: Rescue fox loves her canine besties

2019-02-21 13:44
Vixey. (Photo: Facebook/Gemma Holdway)

Vixey. (Photo: Facebook/Gemma Holdway)

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A British student and her family took in a vixen whose mom had abandoned it – and now Vixey is part of the family.

She’s stolen the hearts of her adoptive humans and also seems to love her canine siblings.

Gemma Holdway’s dad found Vixey and four siblings under a haystack while cleaning out a barn on the family’s farm in Bath, Somerset.

The babies were just two days old so at first he thought he’d found kittens. But Gemma (19), who studies animal science and management, took one look at the babies and realised they were foxes.

The Holdways feared the babies would die if their mom didn’t return. They even scrutinised CCTV footage of the barn to see if the mom would come back but there was no sign of her. They suspect she’d been run over on the nearby busy road or had met with some other unfortunate fate.

Gemma organised for the foxes to be taken to a nearby animal hospital where they could be taken care of until they were ready to be released into the wild. But when Vixey, the runt of the litter, opened her eyes on day five and spotted Gemma the little fox “imprinted” on the young woman.

Imprinting is a key phase in some animals’ lives when they form an immediate bond with a parent, or someone or something they think is their parent.

“None of us realised it at the time as it happened so quickly, but once they open their eyes that’s it. Whoever they see first is mom,” Gemma told Happiest.  

So, while three members of the litter were successfully released into the wild, Gemma adopted Vixen and raised her by hand. Someone else adopted the fifth fox.

Once she’d decided to keep Vixey, Gemma introduced her to the family’s dogs – Jack Russells Raisin, Nidge and Polar Bear, and Luna the Labrador.

“Vixey follows the dogs everywhere, copying what they do,” Gemma says. Raisin is apparently the leader of the pack.

“Luna in particular was wary at first. She didn’t quite know what Vixey was and was unsure when she’d try to play with her. Now they absolutely love each other. They’re the very best of friends.”

Of course many people who see the odd little furry family immediately think of the Disney movie The Fox and the Hound.

Gemma feeds Vixey, goes for walks with her before breakfast and sometimes even gives her a bath. But she realises the fox is essentially a wild animal and so Vixey has the freedom of the farm. The property has been “fox-proofed” to keep Vixey in and predators out.

But at the end of a day roaming about the farm Vixey always returns home, where she either sleeps on the couch or with her adoptive mom on the bed.

Though Gemma’s chosen to keep Vixey for her own safety – the little fox won’t make it in the wild – she strongly discourages people from keeping wild animals as pets as they belong in nature.

Sources: independent.ie, happiest.net, YouTube, Facebook           

Read more on:    rescue  |  fox
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