Foxes have a reputation for being crafty and sly but even they can get outfoxed every once in a while.
Take, for example, this poor little guy who went up against a tire…and lost. Tire 1, fox 0.
Luckily, however, even though foxes are related to dogs, they still have catlike mannerisms, including having nine lives it seems. And for this fox cub? He’s still got eight left, thanks to a team of wildlife rescuers.
The Wildlife Aid Foundation Comes to the Rescue
The Wildlife Aid Foundation in Surrey, UK is a charity dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of sick, injured, and orphaned animals. It deals with over 20,000 wildlife-related incidents, every year, including this one.
After receiving a call about a young fox getting his head trapped in the hub of a tire, they sent out a member of their team to help.
Turns out the fox was well and truly stuck. When attempts to free the cub using cooking oil failed, the rescuer turned to plan B.
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He brought the trapped fox, tire and all, to the center, where CEO and founder Simon Cowell (who just so happens to share a name with another, more famous Brit) quickly got to work.
The rescue was captured on film and shared online where it went viral with over 8M views to date.
Viral Video Captures Amazing Fox Rescue
In the video, Simon and his deputy CEO, Lou, decide to anesthetize the fox before attempting to free him.
Once asleep, they try to use a scaled-down version of a tactic they use on deer stuck in railings — wrapping the fox’s head in plastic and pushing it back through the hole. The idea is to get the ears as flat as possible and make a smooth route back.
Sounds simple in theory, but the actual doing isn’t so easy.
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Initially, the plastic they use proves to be too thick, forcing the trio to think outside the “fox.”
They briefly consider cutting the tire but quickly abandon the idea.
With a lot of perseverance and a hail Mary or two, the little cub is eventually freed, much to the relief of all involved, including one very tired fox.
In payment for his trouble, the fox sustains significant swelling in his cheeks which the team treats with a shot of steroids. They give him a chance to rest up and recuperate before releasing him back where they found him.
This Fox-Tale Has a Happy Ending
Apparently, rescues of this type are fairly common. Foxes have a habit of letting their curiosity get the better of them. They stick their heads through the holes in the middle of tires when they are looking for food. And while it’s easy to get in, their ears stop them from reversing back out.
Luckily for this fox, all’s well that ends well. Thanks to the kindness and know-how of Cowell and his crew, he lived to see another day. Here’s hoping there are no more tires in his future.