Gray Foxes Released Back to Nature!
- Nov 30, 2015
Not many Floridians have the privilege of seeing wild Gray Foxes. However, this native species plays a vital role in nature. Baby foxes are known as “kits,” and these photos show two who were recently treated at SFWC. Both kits were successfully soft-released in Palm Beach County last fall. This release was done in cooperation with Okeeheelee Nature Center, located in Palm Beach County.
A “soft release” is a technique in which wild animals are gradually released back to nature from captive care. At first, a temporary enclosure is erected on a pre-selected area of habitat appropriate for the species, and food is provided for a short period of time. After approximately one week, the food delivered by our staff is gradually reduced, as the doors to freedom are opened for the foxes to return to their natural habitat on their own.
Click here to watch video footage taken from a motion-sensor camera SFWC put in place to monitor the foxes in their return to the wild.
Fox kits come into the SFWC as orphans for a variety of reasons. Sometimes we see orphaned kits because the parents were hit by cars. Other times, lactating mothers have been trapped and removed, and babies are unknowingly left behind. This is why the trapping of wildlife is not humane, nor a solution SFWC would recommend.
If you have foxes in your neighborhood and have questions or concerns, please give us a call at 954-524-4302 x10. SFWC is here to help!
Gray Foxes are native to Florida and help to keep rodents in check, since this is their primary source of food. In a healthy ecosystem, foxes are also instrumental in balancing the populations of other mesocarnivores, such as raccoons and coyotes, since these species are territorial and will fend off others competing for the same prey.
Raising orphaned foxes is expensive, at approximately $1,500 per baby fox. SFWC provides routine veterinary exams and care, vaccinations, blood work, food, lab work, X-rays and other diagnostic tests, as well as medications that may be necessary, depending on the condition of each individual animal.
SFWC receives no government funding, and for us to continue our lifesaving work, we depend on the kindness of the communities we serve. If you can, please donate today.