Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Video: Lira the fox cub rescued from near death by Wildlives, Colchester

12:30 15 March 2014

Zoe Leckie with Lira the Fox Cub that has been brought into Wildlives rescue centre in Thorrington.

Zoe Leckie with Lira the Fox Cub that has been brought into Wildlives rescue centre in Thorrington.

A little fox cub which was found at death’s door near Colchester is now recovering at an animal shelter.


Staff at the Wildlives Rescue Centre in Thorrington are taking care of Lira, a week old female cub who had yet even to open her eyes when she was brought to them.

Lira was brought to Rosie Catford, the owner of Wildlives, by a man who had found her collapsed in his garden, freezing cold and all but dead.

The man took her to his local vets, who in turn directed him to the animal shelter. Lira’s mother is almost certainly dead, said Rosie, so it’s up to them to raise her and get her ready to be released back into the wild.

“She’s doing really well now, she only weighs just over 200 grams so she’s tiny and her eyes and ears are still closed,” said Rosie. Something probably happened to her mother so we are keeping an eye out for any siblings that might turn up.

“She’ll be the first of many over the summer. During the spring and summer they get themselves into trouble, the mother gets killed and the cubs are orphaned. It’s the start of baby season.”

Lira is on two-hourly feeds throughout the day and night. Her name is based on the current theme in the animal shelter. Each year the animals which are rescued and brought in are named according to a theme, be it famous families, pop singers or characters from Shakespeare plays. This year’s theme is Africa.

At such a young age fox cubs are unable to regulate their temperature, and although Lira has a fur coat she was unable to keep herself warm, as such she’s being kept in an incubator.

Lira will be released in the late summer. “We try to follow what would happen naturally, as she gets bigger and we get more cubs in she’ll be put with cubs of her own age,” said Rosie.

“Once she’s feeding on her own all human contact breaks off because the last thing we want is a fox that’s tame. When she’s old enough we put them on to soft release.”

However Lira is taking some time to get used to her new surroundings.

“She’s a little minx at the moment to feed,” said Rosie. “She’s not at all easy to feed but bear in mind she’s been used to snuggling up to her mum and hanging on to her nipple.

“Babies just tend to hang on and suckle when they want to, but we don’t have the time for that so they have to take their food now.”



  • So good to see all these people helping to save the life of one tiny creature. Contrast that with Cameron and his wealthy Tory chums trying to undermine the Hunting Ban with an amendment in Parliament which he hopes most of us will not notice. And they think they will win the next General Election by making it easier for their wealthy chums to kill animals for fun????

    Report this comment


    Sunday, March 16, 2014

  • nice story keep up the good work.

    Report this comment


    Saturday, March 15, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Andy Hazell is against adding steps into a green path next to the church in Kersey.

It is among the prettiest villages in Suffolk, its iconic centre considered one of the most beautiful views in the county.

Police attended the accident

Police have been called to a crash on the A133 Frating Hill in Frating Green.

Police are investigating the incident

Two men have been arrested after an affray in Bury St Edmunds.

East Anglian Air Ambulance

An air ambulance was called to a Suffolk village today after a young woman suffered a horse riding accident.

A depiction of the reality of warfare during the battle for Loos

One hundred years ago today, a major Anglo-French offensive in the Artois region of the Western Front had ground to a bloody halt.

Police were called to a break-in at a petrol station – after a suspected burglar was heard screaming for help.

The Golden Boar in Freckenham. Cyclists called 999 after the pub owners refused them tap water.

A tap water argument between pub staff and cyclists broke out in Freckenham after the group asked for a free water bottle fill-up for four.

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer (left) and Mayor Glen Chisholm take part in the World Sight Day blindfold walk, organised by the Lions Club of Ipswich

Senior Ipswich figures gathered in the town centre on Saturday morning, to take part in a blindfold walk through the market.

Millicent Garrett Fawcett addressing the crowd in Hyde Park at the end of the suffragist pilgramage, July 26, 1913

With the film Suffragette out, we ask how far women have come in 100 years and what still needs to be done

Myriad by David Rickard and Germano Di Chello will grace the grounds of Snape Maltings

An exciting new contemporary sculpture will be built at Snape Maltings next year to give visitors a different way of looking at the landscape.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages