I’ve seen a fox in my garden with missing fur – How can I help?
Sarcoptic mange is a microscopic mite that burrows under the skin usually causing the fur to fall out. It can be easily treated using a homeopathic remedy added to a sweet sandwich fed to the fox. This type of treatment typically works when there is up to 50% fur loss. Usually when it’s over 50% the fox would need to come into a wildlife hospital for treatment.
Following homeopathic treatment, should the animal continue to deteriorate or fail to show signs of recovery, please contact our Mobile Ambulance on 01892 731565 (9.00am – 9.00pm Daily).
We recommend one or other of these homeopathic remedies:
Psorinum is available from Pet Perfection on 01689 856361 – http://www.petperfection.net (1-week treatment)
Arsenicum and Sulphur may be obtained from Helios Pharmacy on 01892 537254 – https://www.helios.co.uk/contact.html (3-week treatment)
There is a sick or injured fox in my garden – What should I do?
If the fox allows you to approach within a few feet and doesn’t run off our rescue team can attempt to catch it with a net, but if it can still run then they are nearly impossible to catch therefore a cage trap will be needed to attempt to catch and treat it.
Occasionally folk are able to outsmart the fox and contain it in an outbuilding or a dog kennel therefore assuring a rescue, which is useful, but not commonplace.
We do not recommend trying to touch the fox, as they may bite if they feel they are in danger.
Please call your local wildlife rescue centre for urgent assistance, or our Mobile Ambulance. Alternatively, our admin office can discuss the possibility of cage trapping if in our catchment area.
How do I stop foxes coming to my garden?
Foxes are not and never have been classified as ‘vermin’, so local authorities have no legal obligation to act against them. Private ‘pest controllers’ who offer such a service often omit to inform you there is no such thing as a vacant territory. Remove one fox and another will take over the territory within weeks. Result: the ‘pest controller’ is richer and you’re not!
Removal or destruction of foxes is, at best, an expensive confidence trick and at worst, an act of cruelty. Fox populations are self-regulating. They cannot over-populate, but will always breed back to replace numbers lost since the previous breeding season.
If you want to get your own way with foxes, forget about lethal ‘pest control’. Deterrence is cheaper, more effective and more humane. To purchase our self-help book: “Unearthing the Urban Fox” call 01892 824111.
For consultancy services contact:
I’ve found a cub in my garden, what should I do?
If the cub is in no imminent danger and weather conditions are not severe you can monitor for an hour at most to see if a vixen is simply moving her cubs (they do this one by one usually under the cover of darkness) and therefore may be coming back for this cub soon. Please do not touch the cub, as in this scenario mum may abandon if the scent of humans is on the cub. Cubs lose heat very quickly and may make distress calls, which can indicate that immediate help is needed. You can ring the helpline for any advice.
If you feel the cub is in trouble, unwell, injured or has been left in a dangerous spot you can put the cub into a box and call the ambulance line for assistance. Keeping the cub warm with blankets and a wrapped hot water bottle will help. Cubs will not feed if they are cold.
Mobile Ambulance: 01892 731565 (9.00am – 9.00pm Daily)
I am worried that the fox may attack my cat/ dog/ children?
Like any wild animal, a fox will avoid confrontation with another species. Foxes are not aggressive by nature and sensationalist media stories of foxes biting people inevitably turn out to be unfounded, exaggerated or invented to distract attention from some other situation. Typically a family dog is found to be the culprit in ‘fox bites baby’ stories. If the question is, “How many people are bitten by foxes?” the answer is, “virtually none!” Householders who foolishly feed foxes by hand may receive a nip if the fox is expecting food and accidentally gets a finger instead – this human behaviour is clearly not to be encouraged.
Foxes are more likely to make friends with cats and dogs, although care must be taken to protect pet rabbits and rodents – make sure their cages are bolted shut as they are natural prey animals to a fox. Cats and dogs regularly chase foxes off their territory if they are not making friends with them.
Be careful to keep inquisitive pets away from the fox den when the cubs are born (March – April) as any mammal will go to great lengths to protect their young and it is a significant threat to a vixen to have a strangers nose enter her den. Of course, foxes and their young can face serious danger from dogs and occasionally cats.
Are foxes responsible solely for tearing open rubbish bins?
Foxes are not the main and only culprit scavenging from householders rubbish bags and bins. Crows, badgers, rats etc are just as likely to be responsible. If you have animal-proof bins like wheelie bins or bins with lids – you will not invite wildlife to tear open black bags looking for food.
How do I report wildlife crime?
You can also report wildlife crime anonymously to Crimestoppers, by calling calling 0800 555 111.
"A pragmatic approach to conservation."
Chris Packham, Patron