I live in the country so wildlife is abundant. Deer, raccoons, the occasional bobcat. Even the elusive red fox. The road to get to my house is just barely a two-lane road. Traffic is increasing on that rather dangerous road as more and more people build homes near me.
A few days ago, I was driving home from town and that’s when it happened. My brush with the usually elusive red fox. Even though they live in the forest all around me, you seldom see them. They are shy creatures. You’re lucky if you get a peek at one. This day, I got more than a peek. Far more.
I was driving up a hill on our road and I saw an animal in the road. There is no mistaking a red fox. He was standing in the middle of road. Just standing there. That is very odd behavior for a red fox. I was afraid he would run in front of me, so I stopped. It was fascinating to look at him but terribly disturbing. I had never seen an animal so thin and emaciated. This fox was sick or he wouldn’t have been standing in the middle of the road.
I pulled up to him, but I was afraid to get out of the car. Rabid animals often come out of hiding and approach people. I sat there and wondered what to do. He needed to get off the road before someone ran over him.
Within a few moments, someone pulled behind me and two men got out of the car. They realized why I was stopped. We all looked at the fox and the men mentioned the possibility of rabies, although there are other illnesses that could have been afflicting the fox.
They told me to drive on so I wouldn’t hold up traffic and they pulled their car off to the side. They were going to try to get the fox back into the woods. I came home terribly sad but concerned about just the possibility of rabies. A case of rabies near a populated area is cause for concern.
I reported the fox and his condition to the heath department. In turn, they were going to call Fish and Wildlife. The goal was to find the fox and determine his health condition.
I hope they’ve found the fox. It’s hard to think about any animal being so ill. It disturbed me for the rest of the day and days after.