Mar 14, 2024 - News

Richmond Wildlife Center staff dress like foxes to care for an abandon kit

A woman wearing a terrifying fox mask

You nurture your way, humans, but foxes gonna fox. Image: Courtesy of the Wildlife Center

The Richmond Wildlife Center is making national headlines for its cosplay-esque care of a preemie fox kit.

State of play: When bottle feeding the tiny red fox babe, nonprofit staffers don a life-like, full-grown fox mask, per a video posted to the group's Facebook this week.

  • The mouth — er, snout, even opens and closes.
  • They also position the kit to feed and sleep atop a fluffy stuffed fox, meant to look like her mother.

Why it matters: The mask and stuffed toy are among the methods the nonprofit uses while caring for wild animals to ensure they don't "imprint" on humans and can one day be reintroduced to the wild, nonprofit founder Melissa Stanley wrote in the post.

Catch up quick: The kit was less than 24 hours old when she was found two weeks ago in a Richmond alley by a man walking his dog, per AP.

  • Thinking she was a kitten, he dropped the little fox with SPCA, who turned her over to the Wildlife Center.
  • They took over care when they went back to the den site to find the kit's family had been removed.

What's next: Once she's ready, RVA's baby fox is headed to NoVa where she'll join three red fox kits at a center there.

  • All will one day be released together back into the wild … presumably near the wilds of NoVa.
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