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Fox cub found alone

Fox cub recovering at RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre © Andrew Forsyth / RSPCA Photolibrary

From April to May it’s common to see month-old cubs developing survival skills above ground during the day.

Parents or relatives are usually nearby, watching. Or you may come across cubs waiting for mum, as vixens move their litter one by one if they feel the earth (den) has been disturbed.

Do not touch fox cubs unless they genuinely need help.

If you find a fox cub on its own, if its eyes are open and it looks healthy, monitor from a distance for 24 hours (at least overnight). Only intervene immediately if the cub is in immediate danger or the eyes are closed.

If an uninjured fox cub is in danger (such as a road), move it to a sheltered spot nearby. Handle the cub as little as possible, check again after 24 hours and it will usually have been collected by its parents. You could leave some dog food and water nearby.

If the cub is still there after 24 hours, leave food and water nearby and monitor to see if it is eating and drinking normally. It’s better for uninjured ‘orphaned’ cubs to be left in the wild and given supplementary food than to be brought into captivity. If cubs are healthy and feeding normally, then provide food until July.

Fox cubs should only be taken into captivity as a last resort. Average stay in a wildlife centre is two to three months, which is a long time in a young fox’s life. Cubs taken into captivity must be handled as little as possible and it’s important to note the exact location where they were found in case they can be returned.

Please don’t try to rear a cub yourself! They need expert care and foxes used to humans do not survive well in the wild.

If you think that the cub is sick or injured call us on 0300 1234 999.

If you disturb a fox litter causing the mother to run away, monitor from a distance. Mum should return when she feels safe and move her cubs. See The Fox Website.

Download the RSPCA’s Living with foxes (PDF 420KB) information sheet.


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