On Saturday, another one of the year’s 114 animals in need arrived at Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.
Baby fox one of the many orphans at Sanctuary.
This baby fox now calls Aspen Valley home.
Weighing less than 500 grams, a tiny fox had spent a few days at a veterinarian clinic in Minden, where staff fed him, de-wormed him and took good care of him before his transfer to our rehab centre.
The fox is a big hit among sanctuary volunteers, our first orphaned fox of 2012.
We don’t know a lot about the circumstances of his predicament, but he was found along a roadway in the Minden area – presumably orphaned by a passing vehicle.
Aspen has received a higher than usual number of roadside orphans this year. Many of our raccoon and squirrel orphans have been found alongside their dead mothers along area highways.
A small fisher was also found alongside his dead mom on highway 118. Fishers are a rarity at Aspen, but unfortunately he arrived with too much damage to his hind legs, and was euthanized.
We don’t know why, but it’s been a busier spring overall.
In total, we’ve received 48 more orphaned or injured wild animals so far in 2012 than by the same date in 2011.
A team of dedicated volunteers continues to feed them pretty much around the clock, with early morning starts and late night finishes to take care of the many needy and hungry babies.
This fox will start off with a diet of puppy milk formula, fed with baby bottles every four hours, before being tucked back into his cage with a small heating pad and a stuffed animal to cuddle up with.
In a few weeks, he’ll graduate to an outdoor enclosure, and staff will avoid contact with him as much as possible to “wild him up.”
Like every animal in the sanctuary’s care, the goal is to help them survive, with limited human contact, so they’ll return to the wild without human imprint.
We should be able to release this fox in the fall, giving him enough time to get used to his surroundings before winter arrives.
In the meantime, staff and volunteers resist the urge to cuddle with the cute arrival, feed him quickly and return him to his box to wait for the next feeding.
(These weekly articles are contributed by staff at the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary rehabilitates orphaned and injured wildlife with a mandate to educate the public towards a better understanding of local fauna.)