Rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) in England received a call about a fox cub that had gotten stuck in the bottom of a drain in a cul-de-sac.
“At first we were unsure where the cub was as there were multiple pipes leading in different directions,” said rescue manager Chris Riddington. “We used a mobile phone to film inside the pipes, as well as drainage rods, hose pipe and insulation for pipes to try checking the pipes and potentially push the cub to the drain entrance 2.5ft underground.”
While Chris and Trevor Weeks MBE founder of WRAS from Uckfield were busily at work, the cub’s mother showed up to observe. “We were amazed that the vixen turned up whilst we were trying to find the cub and it was almost as if she knew we were trying to rescue her cub,” said Chris.
The rescuers could hear the cub crying from inside the pipe but realized the cub must be in the only section of pipe they couldn’t get rods or pipes into. “We didn’t want to give up, and we knew that if the cub was left it was die.
After spending 90 minutes trying to get to the cub we came to realize we had no choice but to play the waiting game,” said Chris. “It is common for cubs to make their way back towards the entrance they came in from, so we decided to back off take a break and then try again.”
It worked. When Trevor laid on the ground with his arm down the hole he could feel the cub touching his hand. After several attempts, the grab hold of the cub, he finally was able to grab its tail and gently lift him out of the drain.
As the cub was soaking wet and dirty, they wrapped him up in a towel and took him back to WRAS’s Casualty Centre for a bath and clean. Within an hour, the rescuers returned to the spot the cub had been trapped and tried to reunite him with his mom. They didn’t have to wait long.
“As if the rescue hadn’t been amazing already, within minutes of us returning mum appeared and walked straight over to a pet carrier which we had placed the cub in. As soon as the cub realized mum was there he was so excited and desperately wanted to get out the carrier. With some help from mum he managed to climb out and mum escorted him back home again. It was unbelievably emotional for all of us,” said Chris.
Watch the rescue unfold in the short video below. It includes clips of the cub’s rescue from the pipe and his reunion with his anxious mum!
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