The mystery of a baby animal a Whitehorse family thought was an abandoned puppy has been solved once and for all: officials at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve say it's most definitely a fox.

Wildlife officials said it would take time to identify the animal and now they know for sure.

"Once his ears stood up and his face changed and the smell became really obvious," said Maria Hallock, the wildlife curator at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. 

"We change his blanket every three hours but still it's getting pretty smelly here."

Staff try not to spend too much time with him — so as not to get him too used to humans.

Baby fox

Back in April, a Whitehorse family rescued what they thought was an abandoned puppy. Yukon Wildlife Preserve officials suspected it was a fox due to the white tip on its tail. (CBC)

He's not the only young animal at the preserve. Staff are also caring for a two week old squirrel in rehabilitation. As well, five muskoxen were born at the preserve this spring in addition to new lambs and bison.

Hallock says in a couple of weeks the young fox will get his first vaccines and then he'll be able to go outside. She says one concern is he might be lonely. The wildlife preserve has put a call out to other accredited zoos to see if he might join another fox somewhere in Canada. If not, staff here hope to build a facility for him and find another fox.

"It's sort of a difficult thing to do because it wasn't expected and we don't really have a lot of funding, in fact we don't have funding because we are non-profit and we are just always looking for anybody who would like to help us."

But officials with the Yukon Wildlife Preserve say they'll find a way to ensure the little fox is well cared for.