A fast-acting farmer delivered a quadruplet of fox cubs via emergency Cesarean section on their mother, who’d been fatally hit by a car, according to a new report.
Chris Rolfe said his “instinct” kicked in when he saw the fox get struck on a highway near Cowfold in south England late at night about two months ago. He got out of his car to check to see if the fox was suffering.
“It was just something I felt obliged to do,” the 24-year-old told South West News Service. “I wouldn’t want to see the mum suffer and that is why I got out of the car.”
It became clear to Rolfe that the fox was dead — but suddenly, he said he noticed her stomach moving. Realizing the vixen was pregnant, Rolfe ran to his car and grabbed a knife to perform an emergency C-section.
“I couldn’t think about it too much. I just had to perform the C-section because every minute is crucial,” said Rolfe, who has no veterinarian experience but once performed the procedure on an ewe.
Out came four six-inch kits, which Rolfe stuffed into his jacket pockets and rushed to his mom Jean Rolfe, who had cared for foxes before.
“They arrived all bloody, and in the wild mum would lick them to get clean. Mum would also have quite a rough tongue as well, which would help to get the circulation going. But I wasn’t going to do that,” said Jean Rolfe. “So we got a damp towel and just really rubbed them quite hard, harder than what you would think, and that actually washes them and gets the circulation going.”
The pair is working with the Fox Project, a local charity, to get the now 7-week-old foxes healthy and strong enough to release into the wild when they’re six months old.
The surrogate fox dad named the babies Ginger, Little Tip, Big Tip and Biscuit.
“It was instinctive otherwise instead of one life lost, it would have been the death of all of the cubs as well as the mum,” he said.
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