April 22, 2010

Foxes in boxes

It’s smarter to partner!
text and photos by Vicki Richmond

Missouri River Relief depends on partners to make our program run. Corporations, other not-for-profits, federal and state agencies provide us with the additional tools, time, effort and funding that keep us on the river removing trash from an 811 mile stretch of river cutting through 5 states.

It isn’t a surprise when we are asked to do our part, and help our partners in our turn.

I received a call from Deb, a wildlife rehabilitator at Lakeside Nature Center in Kansas City's Swope Park. I, too, am a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator, and have spent countless hours with a baby bottle or syringe and a young native Missouri mammal. Deb knew she could count on me to partner in a unique way!

“Hey, Vic! We’ve got a fox kit, who needs a ride to St. Louis. I know you are headed east this weekend, do you think you could give him a ride? Nancy and Angel of Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc. in High Ridge have a sister for him and we’re transferring him. You game?”


In addition to my tent and backpack, a pet taxi was loaded into Butch the truck. Bill, my traveling buddy for the weekend was eager to share his half of the back seat to accommodate the carrier and it’s fuzzy occupant. We made plans to meet Deb at the Bates City exit to begin the little guy’s travels.

We called Nancy and Angel just east of Jeff City with an ETA. We’d meet at the Warrenton exit to hand the fox over to this motivated team.

A quick call was made to Steve in camp telling him that we would be late for the crew meeting. The fox’s transport was about a half hour behind. It was simply the best reason that I’ve ever had to be late for a meeting!

The transfer went without a hitch. A carefully gloved hand gently cradled the fox kit and placed him into Angel’s waiting carrier. A blanket was placed over his fuzzy head to keep him warm and provide him with a hiding spot.

As of this writing, the fox is happy with another of his kind, a female who outweighs him by only 4 ounces. We will keep a careful eye on his progress, and know that he will soon be where he needs to be- ranging the fields near St. Louis living the life of a wild fox.

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