When a plaintive cry of a wild animal was heard from a sewer, firemen from the Joppa Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company in Harford County, Maryland were called last week and found a baby fox caught in a storm drain. The men climbed down the sewer to rescue the little fellow they later named Pierce.
The rescuers tried releasing Pierce into the woods, but he just stood there and barely moved. The men noticed Pierce walked with a limp and fearing he had injured his leg in the fall, the men brought him back to the firehouse. It was late in the evening and local veterinarian offices were closed. Availing social media, the firemen used their Twitter and Facebook accounts to inquire about appropriate care for little Pierce. The joke around the firehouse was if they got one million “likes,” they could keep the baby fox.
“I went to release him next to the woods, but he just kind of sat there. So we decided to pick him up and take him with us and try to contact some people,” volunteer fireman David Collins said. “Everybody started posting and using the Harford fire blog and it went from there. People started contacting us.”
Chadwell Animal Hospital gave the guys proper instructions on how to handle Pierce to avoid possible rabies and what to feed him. The crew took Pierce there the following morning to get him checked out. He was transferred to the Phoenix Wildlife Center and currently is being evaluated for possible hydrocephaly.
Phoenix’s Facebook page gives the following update on May 2:
Baby fox update: not good news
Sometimes baby foxes (like human babies) are born with hydrocephaly. This is a painful condition for the animal. The adult fox takes the infected baby, always in a rain storm, far away from her den and drops the baby. The baby cries, but not for the parent, but because it is in terrible pain. The baby fox is being evaluated for this terrible, congenital disease.
A special thanks goes out to all the firemen who assisted Pierce during his rescue and to both Chadwell Animal Hospital and Phoenix Wildlife Center. While the final outcome of this sweet baby fox may not be a happy one, it is refreshing to hear about any person who goes to these sorts of lengths to rescue wildlife in trouble.
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