Dramatic rescue of pregnant fox injured in road accident sees first fox cubs born via c-section
A pregnant fox has dramatically given birth to five adorable cubs by C-section.
The mother was discovered lying badly injured in the road after appearing to have been hit by a car in Byfleet, Surrey, on Saturday.
Suffering from serious head injuries, the pregnant fox was rushed to Wildlife Aid Foundation’s (WAF) veterinary hospital in nearby Leatherhead – where they discovered she was pregnant.
One of the rescuers, senior vet nurse Lucy Kells, said: “Once we got her back to the WAF hospital, she had a severe fit and had to be sedated so that she could be properly examined. It was then we discovered she was carrying six babies.”
After stabilizing the fox, and monitoring her for 24 hours, staff were ready to release her into the wild to allow a natural birth.
But things took a dramatic turn for the worse when the fox began having fits again.
Lucy added: “Sadly, throughout the day she deteriorated and went on to have another massive fit at 3am.
“Then we saw on our CCTV system that she was starting to give birth, while at the same time she was showing extremely worrying neurological symptoms – she was twitchy, as if she was about to have another fit.
“We still didn’t want to interfere, hoping for the best at that stage. But, heart-wrenchingly, she abandoned the first baby as soon as it was born, and started fitting again.
“Having lost one baby we had to take the very difficult decision to do a Caesarean section, in the knowledge that Mum would have to be quietly put to sleep as soon as the babies were delivered.
“When a wild animal has to have a C-section, you cannot guarantee that she wouldn’t have problems if she ever gave birth again in the wild.
“When released, there would be no one to take care of her. We could not perform a hysterectomy because, without her hormones, she would be rejected in the wild and have no territory.
“Added to the fact that she had serious neurological problems, the kindest thing to do was to put her to sleep.”
But tragedy soon turned to triumph when after delivering the babies via C-section, they successfully spent an hour reviving the five remaining cubs.
Staff massaged the tiny babies bodies to help them breath, and also help clear their airwaves.
Staff now have their hands full rearing the babies 24-hours a day.
Lucy said: “We will be working around the clock, doing our best to hand-rear the cubs and they’ll be with us for the next six months, if they make it through the next couple of days.”