European Red Foxes
European red foxes are considered a threat to native wildlife. Because of this, people are encouraged to shoot them on sight. This means that they are always in danger. These animals have been in Australia since the 1800s. Since then, they have been considered pests because they are responsible for killing wildlife. The government has enlisted a “bait and shoot” program which gives homeowners permission to shoot to kill if they see these foxes on their property. This program almost spelled disaster for a baby fox named Willa.
Willa was just a baby when she stumbled on a farmer’s property. The farmer knew about the “bait and shoot” program, so he went to his neighbor’s house to borrow his gun. Farmer is about to shoot this baby fox. When he goes for his gun the unexpected happens. Fortunately for Willa, his neighbor wasn’t home. The farmer knew that he had to do something, so he called the Sydney Fox Rescue. This group vaccinates, microchips, and neuters baby foxes. After these procedures are performed, they aren’t released back into the wild. Instead, they are taken to a fox sanctuary.
Bringing Willa To The Sanctuary
When Willa got to the sanctuary, he was safe. He befriended another fox named Athena. Sadly, Willa’s best friend was killed by a python. This left him lonely and sad. He was in desperate need of a new friend. It wasn’t long before he found a new friend, but it was an unlikely friendship.
Isabelle was a racing Greyhound who was passed her prime. Since she was no longer any value to her owner, she was taken to the veterinarian to be euthanized. While Isabelle’s owner was discussing euthanizing the dog with the veterinarian, a woman stopped them. She asked if she could bring Isabelle to her rescue group. It turned out to be the Sydney Fox Rescue. They started calling Isabelle, Izzy, and she fit right in at her new home.
Izzy and Willa
From the moment that Izzy and Willa met, they formed a bond. Izzy loved to play with Willa, and she allowed her to climb all over her. She even allowed Willa to take her food when she was hungry. Izzy loved the beach, and the employees at the rescue took her there often. When Willa and Izzy became best friends, Willa was allowed to go also. The two ran on the beach all day, and they played in the sand.
According to Kelly Nelder, the co-founder of the Sydney Fox Rescue, one of Willa’s favorite things to do is playing with her best friend’s tail. Willa sneaks up behind Izzy and stares at her tail for a while. If he is able to get her tail, he tries to take it to the spot where he hides all of his toys. Kelly says that Willa doesn’t understand that Izzy’s tail is permanently attached.
Izzy Is Playful Also
Willa isn’t the only one who loves to play. Izzy loves to play with Willa as well. She puts Willa’s entire head in her mouth, and Willa loves it. She knows that her best friend is only playing around. They also play hide-and-seek with one another. Even though their friendship is different, their bond is incredibly strong.
Problems For Willa
A law was recently passed which made it illegal to keep foxes as pets. At first, Kelly worried. She didn’t want to separate the two best friends. Fortunately, Willa was registered as a pet before the law was put into effect. This meant that he was exempt from the ruling. He could remain at the sanctuary with his best friend.
Unfortunately, due to the new law, Willa was no longer allowed to go to the beach. He could stay at the sanctuary, but the beach was off-limits. The new law made it so that any foxes that were caught would need to be euthanized. Kelly doesn’t think that this is right. She says that foxes are adorable creatures with funny personalities.
Kelly’s Hope For the Future
Kelly knows that if foxes are kept in an enclosure, they are not a threat to wildlife. If the foxes are fed regularly by humans, they aren’t a threat to anyone. Kelly hopes that one day, Australia will find a way to allow these adorable animals to live freely. Fortunately, Willa was able to find a home with Kelly and Izzy before the new laws were put in place. Kelly is thrilled that she was able to provide a home for Willa. She is also thankful to the farmer who called her when he found Willa. Had he shot her on sight, Izzy never would have met her best friend.