Thursday, July 24, 2008

Red Fox

This morning around 7:30 A.M. I started to mow the grass and discovered an injured red fox lying in the backyard. The critter was obviously in distress. I netted the beast and placed it on the hill in the woods. The fox could barely move so I gently put it in a shady woods beyond what I call my bent barrow. This old wheel barrow was so neat until one night a storm uprooted a tree and it fell directly in the middle of this antique!

Judy asked if we should call the Game Warden. I assured her that they would not be interested. I went off to get the car's oil changed. Upon returning, the good wife had contacted the DNR game warden. He said that the federal folks would like to collect the fox. (Wife correct again!) The USD Wildlife Division is collecting data on rabies. They have a vaccine bait line extending through Central West Virginia so they are interested in seeing if any rabies cases gets past the bait line. Gilmer County is about directly on the line.

Woodland creatures partial to fishy snacks find apparent gifts descending from the heavens: fishmeal cakes dropped into their midst that, once devoured, will deliver a rabies vaccine. Pilots contracted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture fly over portions of the East, including our section of West Virgina, in an aerial effort to contain — and eventually eliminate — the rabies virus in the raccoon population. The effort's official title is the National Oral Rabies Vaccination Program.

Jason Miller of the USDA arrived and was ready with his fox collecting equipment.

Jason placed the fox in a cage and indicated that he will test the fox for rabies. He said that the fox was not acting as if under the influence of the rabies virus, nor did it look as if the beast had distemper. His guess was that it was hit by a car and had severe trama injuries. I shall update you all if the test comes back positive, but it seems likely that this canine had an unfortunate collison with an automobile.


Post a Comment

<< Home