Categories: Wildlife
Publish: 17/05/2024 01:00:05

'Fainting' Fox Found Lying By Side Of The Road Shocks Rescue Team

Recently, a woman named Andrea was walking in Toronto when she noticed something strange. There was a red fox stumbling off the side of the road. Worried for the fox, Andrea called the Toronto Wildlife Centre (TWC) hotline for help.

When the TWC rescuer arrived, they were stunned. The fox was behaving oddly — easily allowing himself to be captured and fainting immediately afterward.

“I’ve been doing wildlife rescue for almost 11 years,” the rescuer said in a press release. “I’ve only seen a fox play dead once before.”

fox near the curb Toronto Wildlife Centre

The rescuer rushed the fox to a wildlife hospital. Veterinarians did everything they could to rehydrate the fox and make him more comfortable. However, as the days went on, rescuers were saddened to realize the fox wasn’t improving. They had to try something else.

Vets suspected the fox was suffering from rodenticide poisoning and needed a blood transfusion. The team had emergency blood banks with cat and dog blood, but none with fox blood. Veterinarians knew time was running out. They took a chance and began a transfusion using dog blood. Miraculously, it worked.

“By the end of the procedure, the fox already seemed a bit brighter,” TWC wrote in a press release. “[B]y the next day he was more aware and responsive.”

fox in bed Toronto Wildlife Centre

While this particular fox was fortunate to have received treatment for poisoning, not all animals are so lucky. All too often, rodenticide poison ends up impacting wildlife higher up the food chain, causing illness and death due to unintended exposure. For that reason, biologists urge the use of more sustainable pest control practices.

“The truth is, the only reason people have been using poisons for a long time is that it’s quick, easy and cheap,” Seth Riley, a biologist for the National Park Service, told The Dodo. “There are a ton of ways to solve pest problems without using poison — and various folks have been working hard on every level to ask people to stop using them and for stores to stop selling them. As long as these animals continue to be exposed, it will clearly continue to be an issue.”

Thanks to a bit of quick thinking on behalf of the veterinary team, the fox is now stable and eating well. Soon enough, he’ll be back to his life outdoors.

fox Toronto Wildlife Centre

“[H]e needs a full 30-day treatment to help his body recover,” TWC wrote in the press release. “And then, happily, he’ll be released back into the wild to continue his life!”

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