It is only thanks to supporters like you, we can continue to give animals a voice and we are determined to keep fighting hard to protect them. We aim to protect foxes through changes in legislation and our goal is to ensure future generations of foxes are not hunted for fun. While it’s important to protect future generations of foxes, injured foxes or motherless cubs need help right now, to give them the best chance at life in the wild. That is exactly what Hessilhead do; they protect and treat animals until they are strong enough to be released back into the wild.
Many of the foxes that Hessilhead rescue are cubs. Some are unweaned as their mother may have been injured or disturbed while giving birth or out searching for food. If she doesn’t return, then her cubs would not survive.
This year, Hessilhead took in 24 cubs. One pair of cubs were brought to Hessilhead by a member of the public who believed their mother had been shot. They were only a few weeks old so would not have survived on their own, without food or their mother’s warmth. Luckily for them, they were brought to Hessilhead. The cubs arrived in great condition, so their mother had clearly been doing a fantastic job. Had they not been found; they would have suffered immensely and likely died. Cubs this age cannot fend for themselves and are susceptible to predators.
None of the staff or volunteers spoke to these cubs, and they grew up to be nervous of people which is crucial for them but can be difficult for the human team whose natural instincts are to show love and affection towards them. It’s vital that while being rehabilitated, foxes do not become tame or emotionally attached to the people caring for them. While it may seem kind to treat them this way, it can be detrimental to their survival in the wild. For their own safety and to give them the best chance in life, it’s important they don’t trust humans. Your support helps Hessilhead continue to provide the right care, nourishment and surroundings to prepare cubs to be self- reliant when released. It costs just £25 for a tin of milk substitute to help cubs like these grow and build the strength they need. We could not have hoped for a better outcome and they were released back into the wild in early September.
Supporters have been so generous in helping change the lives and laws for lots of animals but there is still more work to do. We need to raise £300,000 each year to continue our campaigning and investigation work and Hessilhead spend approximately £12,000 rescuing and rehabilitating around 60 foxes each year. Every single pound donated makes such a difference to the work we can both do to protect these beautiful animals. Your Christmas gift today will help us continue protecting and caring for Scotland's foxes.