There's a fox in my garden with bald patches. What's wrong with it and can I help?
Mange is a common problem with foxes and if left untreated, can cause sores which get infected and can lead to its eventual death. Mange is caused by a skin mite and can be treated if caught in time. Please contact us (or your local wildlife rescue) if you are concerned about a fox with mange.
There's an injured fox in my garden. What shall I do?
If the fox can still run, then they are nearly impossible to catch to treat. You can try feeding the fox for a short while (we do not recommend feeding foxes regularly as their hunting skills diminish if food is too easy to come by) as good, regular food, will help the wound to heal more quickly and efficiently. Added cod liver oil and vitamins will help as well. If you can get close enough to touch the fox gently with, for example, a broomstick, then it probably needs more help, so contact your local rescue centre and ask them to come and collect it.
I keep seeing a fox lying in on my shed roof. What's wrong with it?
The answer is, probably nothing! Like most of us, foxes enjoy sunbathing and can spend a whole day basking like cats in a warm, sheltered, quiet place. Keep an eye open for any injuries or signs of distress, but if all seems well, leave the fox to enjoy the sun!
I don't want foxes in my garden. How can I keep them away?
You could try using products such as Reynardine, Pepper Dust, etc. or even a scarecrow, since people are the main deterrent to most wildlife. However, why worry about them? Foxes are unlikely to do any damage to your garden, as long as you keep the lid firmly on your dustbin. There are very few places for wild mammals to live these days and a fox is not necessarily such a bad neighbour – it would certainly keep away rats!
I can see a small puppy-like animal sounding like a kitten! What is it?
Probably a fox cub – which doesn’t look at all like a fox when they are very young. Fox cubs are very dark brown in colour and do look like puppies. Vixens often move their cubs from site to site. If a cub seems to have been abandoned on your lawn, the chances are high that it hasn’t been, simply that their mother is moving the whole litter somewhere else. Keep an eye on the cub and the chances are high the mother will return within a few hours. If not, and the cub is becoming distressed, call your local rescue centre for advice on how to pick it up safely to take to the centre.
Can I just pick a fox cub up to take it to a centre?
No! Never, never pick up a fox cub with your bare hands – apart from running the risk of a nasty nip, the smell of humans on a cub will lead the mother to abandon it immediately.
I love feeding the foxes in my garden? Surely this is good?
Unless you are treating an ill or injured fox, we would suggest that feeding any wild animal is not a good idea, for two reasons. First, you may adore your foxes, but your next door neighbour may not be so keen and we have had incidences where one household have fed foxes, only for the next door household to kill or injure them. Secondly, by regularly feeding foxes, they can become lazy and lose their hunting skills. This is never a good thing for a wild animal, and what would happen if you move house or go away for a long spell? So, long term, it’s probably best to let the fox do what comes naturally and forage for its own food.
There are two foxes that seem 'stuck together' in my garden?
The months between December and February is mating season for red foxes and it is perfectly normal to both hear and see them a lot more often during this time. If you find two foxes that seem stuck together back to back, please be assured that this is a perfectly natural part of the breeding process and the foxes will separate after a short time!
For further information about foxes here are some useful links:
www.fox-a-gon.co.uk (Non lethal fox management)
Additionally there are some Fact Sheets from The Fox Project attached at the bottom of this article.