“A good day for the foxes. The day started as usual, eating breakfast, getting into their separate crates, and driving to work without incident. They listened quietly to the ruckus in the store all day. After work was a surprise for the kits: a trip to Sunrise Veterinary for their first set of vaccinations and a check up. In order to be licensed as educational animals and to be in public for display, they must be health tested by a licensed vet. Dr Jill Fournier has agreed to be that vet and also work with Natures Kingdom to service the nature babies. Lakyn Hernandez was the attending assistant who kept the wiggly babies somewhat still for the exam. Exhausted foxes are home now. Eve is playing with her toy duck and Todd opened the front porch and fell in the bathtub. Have a good night.”
“It was a little too cold for me to be outside for long today. So it was fox training in the house. The experiment is going well. They are socialized to dogs and people. Just have the small problem of Todd badness trying to dominate over the vixen ( I’ve been calling Eve). He’s twice as big as her and he really bites her hard. They’ve been eating a better diet of broccoli , cauliflower, carrots, ground turkey and special vitamins mixed in so they get the proper nutrition since they both refuse the bottle or even fox formula. Next step is trying to potty train (I don’t even know if this is possible). Oh ya, and they’re not very good at recall either. I will keep trying.”
“Took the babies out to explore the pond. Foxes have little fear of anything. They explored everything; tasted the water, swam a little, and tasted the grasses and plants. Todd still insists on attacking poor Vixen. I will keep them separate unless completely supervised. She is still only half his size. Both are doing excellent with everything from their diets to growing to bonding with me and other humans and dogs. I took some beautiful pictures today to show their story in detail. Enjoy the beauty of nature and these gorgeous little creatures”
“Vixen is eating and drinking her formula out of a bowl. She’s even lapping water out of the dog bowl. I gave her a big pork rib for lunch. She ate every bite greedily. She went to Alpena City Hall with me today to conduct business and meet Adam Poll, Rich Sullinger, and Don Gilmont. Meanwhile Todd waited in the carrier with the rest of the creatures in the jeep. Todd is twice her size at only a weeks difference in age. He is now 5 weeks. He plays just like a little wild puppy.”
“Had a great day. I know for sure the pups have bonded with me. Took a nap with Vixen laying on my chest, she snuggled right in and after a few curious moments of exploring the bed, she tucked in and fell asleep. I took Todd out to do gardening with me. He stayed in my eyesight and explored. He actually made friends with Stewart the dog! They were running back and forth and playing. Stewart even did some play bowing too. It melted my heart to see the old dog bond with a pup. Had to separate the foxes though. Todd is one week older and double the size of Vixen and can be way too rough for her fragile body. She is on the small side and there is not much meat on her frame yet. Neither seems to mind being separated. She is relieved and Todd will play with anyone.”
“I solved the mystery of why these pups were so smelly! Fox anal glands. If you are familiar at all with dog anal glands, well foxes are 10x more pungent. These babies were so terrified of their new surroundings that they were secreting them continually. They are comfortable and have stopped doing this thank goodness! For anyone who does not know what anal glands are: the anal glands or anal sacs are small glands found near the anus in many mammals, including dogs and cats. They are paired sacs located on either side of the anus between the external and internal sphincter muscles. Sebaceous glands within the lining secrete a liquid that is used for identification of members within a species. These sacs are found in all carnivores. They are also used as a defense mechanism and are secreted to deter potential attackers. The pups are socializing well and exploring my home and yard freely. So far this experiment is a success and my goal to make them public friendly looks foreseeable!”
“Babies got a bath today – boy they sure were stinky!! I changed plans on upkeep and maintenance to keep them and their den more cleanly. Plastic bag for the tray and newspaper laid down for the flooring. And of course their nesting box with blankets. They got the run of the room for a long while today. It makes them more comfortable with their surroundings. A little evening snuggle time and it’s off to bed. The vixen is still being partially tube fed to supplement her diet still. Todd is eating and drinking fine.”
“I feel a lot of progress has been made today. Vixen is still refusing any form of bottle but is eating from a bowl. Todd is a chow hound and eats all day long. They are getting used to the commotion of my life – being transported every day to work with me, the volume of activity in the shop, and lastly our evening routine. Both babies are getting tamer and braver. I discovered why these aren’t popular pets: their feces and urine are breathtakingly strong. I keep them washed and their bedding changed as needed.” Pics show Vixen and Pam bonding.
Male foxes are called dogs, tods, or reynards and female foxes are called vixens so for now we are using that for their names until we have our naming contest. “Todd chirped all night. Similar to a puppy crying for their mom but in a frog-like triple chirp. He was still very unsure most of the day today. Vixen is being tube fed. She is healthy and hydrated but refuses to suckle on any type of bottle I give her. She cries out, then bites it angrily, not knowing what I’m trying to do. So it’s tube feeding again to ensure she keeps hydrated and well nourished. Supper time went well for Todd; he wolfed down his wet food and walked away with a full belly. I let them explore the kitchen with the doors closed and supervised . Todd went around the room peeing and chirping. Not really marking, just urinating after stretching his legs. Vixen fell asleep in her crate on top of the blankets. I then scooped Todd up and placed him in the crate and proceeded to put the crate in the larger nursery box. They both got out and explored. Todd tried to bury the small piece of tray liner that was visible with his nose using the straw bedding. He didn’t seem to like the looks of it. Soon after they both climbed in the carrier den and fell asleep. I put the heating pad underneath the crate. Goodnight foxes.”
Michelle took a trip down to Ohio to pick up two infant foxes (a male and a female) from a fur/trapping farm. The purpose of this rescue was to create mascots for the Natures Kingdom Organization. These mascots will be tamed enough to be licensed for educational purposes enabling us to give live demos to schools, the nature center, or any other public venue. Our goal is to promote the magic that will be The River Center and baby animal nursery. We will be doing blog updates so everyone can follow their progress and Michelle plans on writing a biography of her adventures. Day 1: “Just came home with the babies. There is a lot of care to do with them! These babies were rescued from a very dirty farm, their parents are wild, and this is the first exposure to life for them other than in a rabbit hutch. The female is 3 weeks old and terrified and the male is 4 weeks and a little braver. I saved him from being eaten by his mother. When they are this young they are sensitive to myopathy (common in wildlife) which basically means they get scared to death.” -Michelle. We want to have a naming contest for each baby soon! Please stay tuned for updates on these babies!