Homeowner Spends Weeks Trying To Catch Hairless Mystery Animal Living In Backyard

"[H]e had no lack of spunk!"

When a Good Samaritan noticed an animal living in and around their backyard, they were immediately concerned. The thin, hairless animal was hard to identify, but clearly needed help. The homeowner hatched a plan to try and catch the animal and get him to safety — but that proved to be much easier said than done.

Despite being sick, the mystery animal was incredibly clever and managed to evade being captured for weeks. But his rescuers refused to give up and finally succeeded in bringing him to safety.

The rescuers transferred the animal into the care of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota (WRC), where they discovered that the hairless little guy was actually a fox. He was emaciated, dehydrated and suffering from a severe case of mange. His rescuers knew it would take a while before he was fully healed, but they were committed to making sure he got there eventually.

“Before his trip to WRC, this young red fox experienced weeks of cold, hunger, discomfort and desperation due to the mites that were burrowing under his skin causing a severe case of mange,” the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota wrote on Facebook. “He arrived to our clinic almost completely furless, ribs showing and with a fractured tail that would require a small amputation from its tip.”

As the fox settled into their care, his rescuers could immediately see why he had avoided being caught for so long.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota

“Despite missing fur and fat, he had no lack of spunk,” the center said. “The client wanted to share the video of him evading capture because it demonstrates just how clever he is, a trait we saw right away in our care. He put our staff’s creativity to the test as we strived to keep him entertained and safe during his stay. His medical care and rehabilitation were funded by generous supporters who responded to our specific request for funds to help care for mange foxes. Thank you!”

After over a month of receiving the best care possible, the spunky fox was finally ready to head back home to the wild where he belonged.

“After 43 days in our hospital, he had recovered outstandingly, and his beautiful new coat was beginning to grow back,” the center said. “Anyone could see that this fox was more than ready to return home, and so as soon as our vets were confident he no longer needed supportive care, back to the wild he went.”

The fox was incredibly excited to be going home, and as soon as his rescuers opened his crate, he leapt into the air and bounded away. But before he disappeared into the wild, he made sure to look back and take a moment to appreciate the people who saved his life.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota

“Our patients are unable to thank us, but this fox’s spectacular leap out of his kennel and the moment he took to look back at his caretakers are memories we will never forget,” the center said. “On behalf of the fox, thank YOU for supporting WRC and making stories like his possible!”