Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre

Collapsed fox cub found at Teesside industrial estate is on the mend

A badly injured fox cub rescued from an industrial estate near Stockton-on-Tees is making a great recovery under the care of the RSPCA.

The infant suffered a spinal injury, possibly after falling down an embankment, and was unable to stand on his back legs. He was found at the Augean works site in Port Clarence on July 25 and taken by RSPCA Animal Rescue Officer Shane Lynn to a wildlife rehabilitator.

Now he is under the care of staff at RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre near Nantwich, in Cheshire, and they plan to release him back into the wild when he has returned to full health.

The rescue comes during a period when it is common to see fox cubs above ground as they learn survival skills. The RSPCA advises anyone who comes across cubs who appear healthy to monitor them from a distance as their parents may be close by. 

In this case, the young fox was clearly in distress and needed expert assistance. When he was first found, a worker on the site carried out a broom test on the injured animal, who was just about able to lift his head.

“The cub didn’t have any puncture wounds or obvious external injuries, but he couldn’t use his rear legs. He was literally scooting himself along the floor on his front legs (see picture),” said Shane. 

“At first I thought he might have broken his pelvis, but the x-rays showed there wasn’t a fracture and fortunately it was only severe bruising and muscle damage.

“He may well have slipped down a muddy embankment at the works site.”

Rydale-based wildlife rehabilitator Jean Thorpe helped nurse the cub back onto his feet, before he was given the green light to travel to Cheshire.

RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre manager Lee Stewart said: “The fox is doing well in our care, but there was some spinal injury from the fall which is now being closely monitored by the team.

“He is receiving anti-inflammatories and pain medication and we are hoping he will make a full recovery so that we can return him home as soon as possible.”

The RSPCA says that in most cases members of the public should not approach injured wildlife like foxes. But if cubs are in immediate danger then they can be moved to a sheltered spot, after which a check can be made to see if they have been collected by their parents.

“Foxes can bite when they’re scared or in pain so it is best to monitor the situation from a distance and contact a wildlife rehabilitator, if that is possible,” added Shane.

For more information about what to do if you find a fox cub alone see the RSPCA website.

You can support RSPCA Stapeley Grange’s work rehabilitating injured wildlife by visiting here.