Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre
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4 gorgeous fox cubs which were found in a garden rescued by the RSPCA

Four fox cubs which were found separated from their mother in a garden in Derbyshire have been rescued by the RSPCA.

The four siblings were spotted in the garden of a house in Kingston Avenue, Ilkeston, by the woman who lived at the property.

The homeowner was concerned about the cubs, which were aged about 4 weeks old, and called the RSPCA for advice and kindly monitored them from a safe distance.

In most cases females will return and collect their cubs if given the opportunity, however unfortunately on this occasion that was not the case and RSPCA Animal Collection Officer (ACO) Caitlin McNaughton was sent to the incident, which happened on Wednesday March 25.. 

Whilst the best place for a fox cub is in the wild with their parents, the cubs were very young and it was cold so there was concern about leaving them any longer, so the cubs were taken to one of the RSPCA’s wildlife centres.

Caitlin said: “The woman called us after seeing the cubs in her garden and she was kind enough to keep an eye on them as we were hoping their mum would return and collect them. But as time passed it was decided the best thing to do was to take them into our care.

“We are not sure what happened to mum. She may have been scared when moving her cubs and dropped them and was too frightened to return or she may have been killed in a road accident, we just don’t know.

“The cubs’ eyes were open but they were not mobile and they felt cold so I scooped them up in a blanket which kept them warm as I transported them to one of our wildlife centres.” 

The cubs are now in the care of the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Nantwich and are doing well.

Once they are independent and strong enough they will be released back into the wild.

Lee Stewart, manager at Stapeley Grange, said: “It is sad that these cubs have to come into RSPCA care rather than grow up in the wild but we are so grateful to any member of the public that takes the time to contact us about animals they fear need help.

“However, it is important to remember that not all young animals need rescuing and many would be better off being left where they are and monitored for as long as possible as the parents are usually nearby. 

“Every year wildlife centres across the country are inundated with young wild animals after people, with the best of intentions, believe them to be orphaned or abandoned and bring them in.

“Our advice is that if you see a lone baby wild animal, unless they are obviously injured or in immediate danger from predators or traffic, monitor the situation from afar as they may not need rescuing. Young animals have a much greater chance of survival if they remain with their mothers.

“If you find a fox cub on their own and their eyes are open, the cub is probably fine – the parents will usually be nearby. Leave a supply of dog food and water nearby and check again after 24 hours. If the cub is in immediate danger – on a road or somewhere very exposed – safely move the cub to a sheltered, safe spot nearby, handling the cub as little as possible.”

Foxes that become used to humans do not survive in the wild and cubs should only be taken into captivity as a last resort. If you are concerned about an uninjured fox cub, or you have found a cub and its eyes are still closed, please contact the RSPCA on our 24-hour cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999.

During this difficult time, our priority is to help animals in need. We are already experiencing strain on our centres and frontline due to Covid-19 and this will worsen in the weeks ahead. To help the RSPCA though this challenging time, please visit www.rspca.org.uk/give or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.  We know this is a difficult time for animal lovers. Please visit our website for advice, information and support.

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