A young fox that was faced the possibility of being euthanized on Tuesday instead is headed to a new home. (Source: CCAC)
COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) -
A young male fox is out of the Columbus County Animal Shelter one day before it may have been euthanized.
Dora Turner, who owns and operates Noah's Landing, a small zoo in Coats, NC, had the proper permits and licenses to take custody of the fox Monday afternoon, according to Rossie Hayes, the Director of the Animal Shelter.
Columbus County Animal Control assisted the NC Wildlife Resources Commission in confiscating the animal from a home south of Whiteville last Friday. A state wildlife official received a tip that the family was keeping the fox as a pet.
Turner says a volunteer with her program saw news about the fox late last week, and the group started working on trying to take custody. Turner spoke with NC Department of Natural Resources officials today about the permits required to take the fox. After getting the approval, her group took the animal out of the Animal Shelter this afternoon.
Turner says she has about 100 mostly small animals in her zoo. She said the fox will remain quarantined for the near future, to study his actions and behaviors. She is confident that the animal will be cared for by the volunteers.
"He's going to be scared to death, since the family is all he has known," Turner said over the phone. "But, he will be fine. We do a lot of work with animals here (at the zoo). He will be in good company. The end of this story is very good."
Keeping wild animals as pets is illegal in North Carolina. In addition, people who house the animals run the risk of getting parasites or rabies, said Tom Padgett, regional biologist with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.
"I think a lot of it's the cuteness factor," he said. "Once they become mature, the cuteness disappears and you're stuck with an adult animal that…is not domestic."