Endangered Kit fox recovering at Wildcare Eastern Sierra Rescue Center

Six weeks ago, Krista G. headed home to Santa Cruz from a tour of Death Valley. Driving southwest on Highway 178, about 3 miles from the 395 junction, she spotted an animal lying motionless in the middle of the roadway. A close look at the body revealed a small fox, alive but unconscious.

Wildcare Eastern Sierra received an early morning phone call. They gave the driver directions how to safely rescue the injured animal, keep it warm, dark and quiet. Cautiously she wrapped the body in the warm blanket, tucked it into the box, and placed it on the sunny front seat in her vehicle.

Krista’s planned route home had been to the south, then west to the coast and north to Santa Cruz. Krista chose to head north on 395 instead to Wildcare, two and a half hours out of her way.

She pulled up in front of the center at Keough’s Hot Springs. Staffers Cindy Kamler and Danielle Manriquez were surprised to discover that the fox was a smaller, endangered Kit fox. These small foxes inhabit arid and semi-arid regions encompassing desert shrub, creosote, chaparral and grasslands. The San Joaquin and Death Valley areas hold most of the endangered California Kit fox population.

Examination found a comatose female, motionless except for slight twitching of the head. No cuts, fractures or bruises were seen except for bleeding from the right inner ear. For the next four or five days, she was motionless, eyes shut. Nearly a week passed until she could lick blended raw meat from a syringe.

She began to change position occasionally and finally, opened her eyes and attempted to stand and move. A couple more weeks passed as she became more alert, her balance improved, and she could eat on her own. Sleeping most of the day in her burrow, she was now active and eating at night.

Since this is the first Kit fox taken in by the Center, their goal is to find a proper and safe release site, meaning learning as much as possible about Kit fox’s behaviors.

Wildlife Eastern Sierra rescues birds and small animals that are injured or abandoned. We ask you to join with us here at KIBS/KBOV by supporting the work of Wildlife Eastern Sierra.

Like us here at the station,  one way is to take your California redemption cans, glass, or plastic bottles to Manor Market’s buy-back center, and ask to have the proceeds donated to Wildlife Eastern Sierra. This is an important funding source for the rescue center.

(Photos courtesy of Wildlife Eastern Sierra.)