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“The Price of Admission for Living in the Northland”?

fox kits wildwoods

Wildwoods shared this story about wildlife and domestic pets:

On Friday, Wildwoods sent three fox kits down to our friend Connie, who specializes in raising and releasing orphaned foxes. Their stories illustrate the range of problems we may cause for our wild neighbors — through carelessness, through intolerance, and through misplaced “love.”

You probably remember that one was found by the side of the road, injured after being hit by a car. Another one was wandering around with a cat collar around her neck after somebody had made her a pet, and she had then either escaped or been released.

We don’t know where the moms of these two fox kits are, so have no way of reuniting them with their families.

The third and newest fox kit has a story as sad as the fox found with a cat collar around her neck, because his orphaning and injury were both completely avoidable and a result of conscious human choice So what happened?

Unfortunately, his mom made her den near a family who doesn’t like having a fox family nearby, and likes to let their cat out (bad for both the wellbeing of cats or wildlife). They worry that the adult foxes may injure their cat.

So they set out foot hold traps to trap and relocate the foxes. The first fox they caught was one of the kits — this little guy. Fortunately, he hadn’t been in the foothold trap more than an hour or two, so though his foot was injured, his foot’s vascular supply has not been irreversibly compromised. Unlike most animals we get from foothold traps, he won’t lose his foot. Also, the people were kind enough to bring him to us rather than relocating him on his own, which would have been a death sentence for this poor little kit.

So, even though Wildwoods knows where his family lives, we cannot yet return this fox kit to his family, (and the rest of his family are also at risk), since the human family living there won’t keep their cat inside, and won’t accept the presence of their local foxes. This is very sad.

Wildwoods is still working to try to change the minds of the folks who brought us this kit, so that he will have the benefit of being raised by his fox parents.

Wildwoods thinks that part of the joy of living up here in the woods (and indeed, part of the “price of admission,” besides coping with and learning to enjoy the Northland’s long, bitter winters) is accepting and learning to tolerate and coexist with — and better yet, to enjoy and treasure — the local wildlife.

What do you think?

3 Comments

BadCat!

about 4 years ago

If those people are so worried about the fox injuring their cat, I think they need to stop letting their fricking cat out!!!

If we ignore the fox situation altogether, the cat is always at risk while venturing outdoors (risk of injury/death by cars, other animals, diseases, infections, etc.). In general, indoor cats live much longer and healthier lives than outdoor cats (not to mention all of the small animals that a cat considers prey).

Once you add in the situation with the fox kits, these owners are pretty much saying they are willing to kill and/or injure an entire family of foxes just so their cat has the right to roam outside during the few weeks the foxes are in the den! Sheesh. Even if you don't value your cat's well-being enough to transition it to an indoor cat, at least value the well-being of an entire fox family and keep your cat temporarily inside until the foxes are gone!

And yes, I do know how much it sucks to transition an outdoor cat to an indoor cat. I learned this lesson after losing one cat and the diagnosis of a fatal disease in another.

BadCat!

about 4 years ago

I intentionally used capital letters in a small portion of my comment for emphasis. Had I intended to use italics, I would have used italics instead...

Ninja-editing another person's comments gives the impression that PDD is more interested in aesthetics than content.

Paul Lundgren

about 4 years ago

For the past six years we have listed in the policies that "all caps should almost never be used."

Of course, we don't expect people to read the policies word for word and memorize them, so I don't mention that to be critical, but rather to discourage the use of all caps. I apologize for the martial arts techniques deployed in the removal of your caps, but would argue the content was not sacrificed, though I understand there is clearly room for disagreement on the matter.

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