Saskatchewan wildlife rescue begins long road to rehab for 3 foxes

While the person who found the foxes thought they were doing the right thing, a Salthaven Wildlife worker believes this was a case of abduction.

3 fox kits found near Weyburn, Sask. were brought to Salthaven Wildlife on April 22

These three fox kits were found near Weyburn, Sask. and brought to Salthaven West. (Salthaven West/Facebook)

A Saskatchewan wildlife rescue group now has a full skulk on its hands. 

Last week, three fox kits were found near Weyburn, Sask., and were brought to Salthaven Wildlife — an animal rescue and education centre near Regina.

But the sly creatures will need help to learn how to behave in the wild.

Megan Lawrence, director of rehabilitation at Salthaven Wildlife West, said she believes the foxes are about 10 weeks old.

"That's about the age when they would start playing independently outside of the den while the parents hunt for food," Lawrence said.

One of the fox kits brought to Salthaven West near Regina. (Salthaven West/Facebook)

While the person who found the foxes thought they were doing the right thing, Lawrence said she believes this was a case of abduction, rather than a rescue.

"Often people will come across them and see that they've been orphaned or abandoned when that's not the case," she said. "These ones were in care with the person who found them for about a week before they decided to call for help."

Lawrence said the person that found them also tried to feed them, but the foxes weren't being given enough proper food.

"When they came into our care, they were quite a bit weak," she said. "And after a week away from the parents, we weren't able to get them back with the parents."

Young foxes like this one will need months of rehab before they can be reintroduced to the wild. (Salthaven West/Facebook)

Now, the young foxes begin their long journey back into the wild.

"We'll have them for about a week in care and then we're going to transfer them to another wildlife rehabilitation facility in the province that has larger enclosures that they require," Lawrence said.

"They will be in care there for probably about six months — until the end of the summer at least — and they'll be released back into the wild probably in the fall."

According to Lawrence, foxes take an extra long time in rehab compared to other mammals.

"Foxes in the wild will stay with their parents the entire summer, and the parents will teach them how to be wild and basically teach them how to hunt. So we sort of mimic those conditions in rehab and we will keep them for the same period of time that they would stay with their parents."

The three fox kits also need medication before they will be put back into the wild. Lawrence said they're hoping to raise about $500 to do so.

With files from CBC Radio's The Afternoon Edition