As TASIS Wildlife students continue their studies of wildlife around Britain, Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue came to visit. A three week old baby fox was brought along. This fox is an orphan, and is being cared for around the clock by a volunteer from Harper Asprey. Nicki stopped by with the baby fox to teach us some facts about foxes, especially our urban foxes.
The students were surprised to see that the baby fox looked very much like a puppy! Most people would not have even guessed that it was a fox! We were told that only one person is allowed to handle the fox, so that the baby does not get used to being handled. The fox will be raised in such a way that it is fed and cared for, but does not become dependent on humans. When the fox is able to begin to feed itself, it will be given a soft release, which means it will be released in a controlled area that is safe. Once the fox is able to care for itself, it will be released into the wild. This wild could be near a town, and it is important to learn how to coexist with these beautiful animals! We can do things like not using poison in our gardens, being careful not to have wire fences that could catch and injure a fox, and by remembering that foxes need to hunt for food, so we should secure any outside animals in safe hutches at night.
We also got to see a hedgehog that had been rescued. This adorable hedgehog decided to stay rolled up in a ball. We still enjoyed having her visit and hope that she is fit and able to go back to the wild soon.
The most important thing that we have learned is that we need to be respectful that we do not have exclusive rights to all of the land around us, but that we must understand and allow wildlife to thrive as well. We discussed how it would be nice to leave part of our own gardens wild for animals to live in. We also thought about the fact that one should never scare or chase a wild animal. It is our responsibilities, as the humans who have built up cities and towns where animals live as well, to care for and respect all wildlife.