Imagine walking by a storm drain and hearing the sound of a puppy yelping for its mother. What would you do? For animal lovers, the answer is simple – check inside to see if a cute critter needs saving. That’s exactly what two Colorado Springs residents did when they found themselves in that situation recently.
Upon looking inside the drain, they discovered a dire situation: nine newborn puppies were stuck inside, squirming and yelping, without their mother. Acting responsibly, the citizens immediately called the Colorado Springs Fire Department for help.
The heroic firefighters arrived and prepared to rescue the puppies, something they were familiar with. Little did they know that their efforts would lead to unintended consequences. The puppies were carefully removed from the underground drain and placed on a towel for safety. Still unable to locate the mother, the firefighters decided to take the pups to the local animal shelter. And that’s when they received some shocking news!
It turned out that the nine newborn puppies were not actually puppies at all. They were wild red fox kits who happened to be black in color. A veterinarian at the shelter confirmed this surprising discovery. Travis Sauder, a Colorado Parks and Wildlife employee, explained that red fox mothers often deliver their litters in small spaces outside. Finding these litters and other groups of young animals is common, especially in the spring when animals in the Colorado Springs area are raising their young.
It’s important to note that if you ever come across a litter of wild animals, it’s best to leave them alone. The mother is likely close by and has not abandoned them. Disturbing the litter or moving them will only distress both the litter and the mother. Realizing their mistake, the firefighters promptly returned the kits to where they were found. Wildlife officials will periodically check on the litter to ensure that the mother eventually returns. If she doesn’t, the kits will be taken to a wildlife rehabilitation specialist, with the hope of preparing them for a future return to the wild.
The story may seem unbelievable, but it’s true! Watch the video below to see the entire rescue mission and share your experiences of finding baby wild animals. Remember, we all have a part to play in protecting and preserving wildlife.