Wildlife rescuers wear fox masks while caring for baby kit — learn the important reason why

Wildlife rescuers truly go the extra mile to help animals in need and give them their best chance at survival. Sometimes, that means taking some unusual precautions — like dressing up in a costume.

That’s the case for staff at one wildlife center, who put on the most interesting disguise while caring for a baby fox.

According to a Facebook post, Richmond Wildlife Center took in a small baby creature on February 29. While it was initially believed to be a kitten, they soon realized it was in fact a neonatal fox kit, less than a day old.

“Her umbilicus stump is still attached,” they wrote. “She weighs just 80 grams, her teeth are not in, her eyes are sealed, and she is deaf at this age. She is barely 24 hours old.”

According to AP News, the staff tried to locate the kit’s mother and den to reunite them, but found out the other foxes had been trapped and removed. It is suspected that the baby fox fell out of a trap.

The wildlife center staff knew that they had to care for the baby fox to keep her alive, and began feeding her milk. But while doing so, they took an unusual precaution — they wore furry, detailed fox masks.

A video posted by the wildlife center shows one staff member — identified as the center’s founder Melissa Stanley — gently feeding the kit with the fox mask on:

While it makes for a striking, unusual sight, the mask actually serves a crucial purpose: it helps the young fox from “imprinting” on humans, which could make it impossible for her to survive among her own kind.

“It’s important to make sure that the orphans that are raised in captivity do not become imprinted upon or habituated to humans,” the center wrote on Facebook.

They took many other precautions, including minimizing human sounds, creating visual barriers, and reducing handling. The fox mask was purchased by a supporter of the center’s Amazon wish list, alongside a stuffed fox the kit can snuggle with in her enclosure.

Richmond Wildlife Center wrote on Facebook that they are currently working on getting the baby fox with her own kind. They have located some baby foxes the same age and weight, though it’s not clear yet if they will take in the other foxes or if this fox will be relocated to be with them.

“Either way, it’s in the best interest of this Fox to get it with other foxes her own age,” they wrote.

Thank you to these employees for taking such good care of this baby fox and making sure she wouldn’t imprint on humans — we’re glad to hear she will soon be united with her own kind!

Please share this amazing news if you love animals!