Another year has flown by in a whirlwind of rescues; the usual foxes, cats and pigeons plus the odd crow, some tiny ducklings and a budgie I had to catch in a local supermarket!
Fox cub season in Spring was busier than ever but I was able to reunite quite a few ‘mislaid’ cubs back safely with their families. Poorly cubs, orphaned cubs and those with no chance of finding their families were taken into care and released later in the summer as adults-I am very grateful to the Fox Project for taking most of these for us for long term care.
This is something that we are hoping to do ourselves in future but in London it is difficult to find volunteers who would be able to help. I often have cubs in my care for a day or two but after any hand rearing and/or treatment, cubs need to be kept in small groups emulating a family of siblings. They are then kept in outside pens where they are monitored and all their needs are met but while keeping human contact to a minimum. This enables them to learn how to be wild foxes who will be eventually finding their own way in the world. They are then released late in Summer but fed for a short while as they adjust to fending for themselves.
Although foxes thrive in London-the large numbers of foxy residents are testament to this-they need safe release sites and in our city, this is tricky. I will eventually be looking for potential cub fosterers with private/secluded gardens and/or land who could have an outdoor run in their garden for several months but there would be a lot to take into consideration with the well-being and safety of the cubs being of paramount importance. Please email me if you would like to be considered.
We will also need temporary accommodation for sick and injured adults in our care but in London, such premises are very difficult to find. If anyone has any ideas for any permanent options, please get in touch.
There have been so many successful rescues but this was a special one-these three cubs were living in a Central London school and had really terrible mange that was worse even than it looks in the photos. It was the worst I had seen in cubs so young. We spent several days trying to catch them as while they were still small, they were not going to allow themselves to just be picked up! It was like winning the lottery when we eventually caught all three! There were no parents to be seen-they had possibly succumbed to the dreaded mange. We caught them just in the nick of time but they were all treated and survived. They grew to be beautiful healthy big cubs who were able to be released when they were old enough.
This was another special one-an adult vixen with bad mange and suspected toxoplasmosis at a London cemetery. She had reported as having a toy mouse stuck in her mouth but when I attended, I could see that it was the symptoms of toxoplasmosis making her behave in this way. She just kept picking up various items including the mouse that she carried around with her. On the day I captured her, her favourite item to carry, (as well as her toy mouse) was a Yorkshire pudding! I managed to catch her with a net and she was taken safely into care. Foxes with toxoplasmosis cannot be released back to the wild as while their symptoms can be treated, any brain damage cannot be reversed.
We continue to hold monthly meetings to try to get active volunteers but despite having them for almost three years and over 300 people attending, only a handful of people have been actively involved. There has been a huge amount of support which is great but it doesn’t translate into hands-on help which is essential if we are to continue to move forward. Again, please contact me to attend a volunteer meeting.
As well as neutering a lot of street cats, we have taken on a few high maintenance cats this year. This is Mimi who came into my care when she fell from the seventh floor of a block of flats, breaking three legs. She has cost a lot of money but is worth every penny and her care is still ongoing. She is such a character-small in build but a massive personality!
A few other successful rescues from the street who found fab new homes- Morticia, Keller and Mr Grey. Mr Grey still cannot be touched but he comes and goes as he pleases through the cat flap and has earmarked his own chair!
If anyone would like to contribute towards the care of the many animals we rescue each year, you can make a donation by Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org
To donate food etc from our Amazon wishlist, please email me for details.
Thanks for all the support!