COLORADO SPRINGS — This past Friday, Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) officers confiscated a wild red fox from a Colorado Springs woman.
CPW said officers discovered the woman had the fox after she created an Instagram page for it, dating back to May 4, 2018.
It is not only illegal to possess wildlife in Colorado but it is also potentially dangerous. In this instance, red fox are known to carry diseases like canine distemper and rabies.
CPW said the woman's initial Instagram post said she had "rescued" the fox. CPW disagrees.
“Wild animals belong in the wild. Period,” CPW Area Wildlife Manager for the Pikes Region, Frank McGee said. “People cannot take care of wildlife better than their parents. It is selfish and irresponsible to take these animals from the wild.”
McGee added that there's a reason CPW required rehab facilities to be certified and their operators be trained and licensed.
“It takes specialized education and training to handle wild animals, whether it’s deer, raccoons, birds or whatever,” McGee said. “People often think they are helping when they pick up wildlife. They are not. These are wild animals. They are not meant to live in captivity.”
CPW said that because the fox had lived more than two years in captivity it could not survive if returned to the wild and the agency was thus forced to euthanize the animal.
“This was so unnecessary and sad for the fox and our officers,” McGee said. “If you see a wild animal, especially a baby animal, leave it alone. Call us if you believe it’s orphaned or abandoned and needs to be rescued. We’ll assess the situation and get it to a licensed rehab facility, if necessary.”