It was a typical spring day in Shoreham, England, when East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Services (WRAS) received a frantic call about a helpless fox cub.
The little one had seemingly stuck her head through a rusty wheel and couldn’t wiggle herself free.
“The young fox was found to have [her] head through the central hole in [a] metal wheel, which still had the [tire] attached,” East Sussex WRAS wrote in a Facebook post.
East Sussex WRAS called Brighton Hove Wildlife Advice & Rescue Service for help, and the two teams raced to the scene.
When they got there, they realized just how tight the tire was around the fox’s neck. To free her, they’d have to bring her back to one of their veterinary centers.
They carefully carried the fox back to their van and safely transported her to East Sussex WRAS Casualty Centre. There, they were able to get a clearer image of what the fox was up against.
“The fox’s face was clearly swollen, and there was a wound behind one ear due to being stuck,” East Sussex WRAS wrote. “WRAS’ Care Team knew this was not going to be easy …”
You can see their rescue effort here:
The veterinary team gave the fox a small dose of anesthesia to help her stay calm during her procedure. When she was sleepy enough, the team went to work removing the big, cumbersome wheel.
“The fox’s head was manipulated slowly and carefully, bending the ears in order to free the head,” East Sussex WRAS wrote.
With a coordinated and gentle effort, the team managed to finally free the fox from the tire. She had some residual wounds from the pressure around her head, but overall, she was in great spirits.
“The fox herself was certainly feeling much better,” East Sussex WRAS wrote.
The fox cub needed some time to heal, and luckily East Sussex WRAS was in no hurry to see her leave. The sweet girl stayed with her new rescuer friends until she was fully recovered and ready to go back home.
Now that she’s free from the tire, it’s safe to assume the little fox is finally living her best life in the woods again.
She may poke her head through a bush or dip her nose into a body of water these days, but one thing’s for sure: She’ll never investigate the curious center of a rusty wheel again.