News Local

Injured fox given new lease on life

By Ian McInroy, Barrie Examiner

SPRINGWATER TWP. - A fox roaming the Midhurst area for more than 10 days with an arrow lodged in his hindquarters was rescued Monday afternoon.

Springwater Township and Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) staff were called to an Orser Drive residence around

2 p.m., after the wounded animal was found cowering under a deck.

It was captured safely and transported to the OSPCA Wildlife Centre in Midland, where officials hope the same drive that kept him alive with the arrow piercing his body will help him pull through.

"It's up to him now. His body has gone through a lot," said wildlife care co-ordinator Liz Springall, adding the adult fox's heart had stopped and was given something to revive him.

"He has an intravenous in right now and we just took him off oxygen," she said, around

5 p.m. Monday. "It's touch and go for now. We gave him steroids for shock, antibiotics, and something for the pain and swelling."

Township officials believe the animal was shot June 17.

Animal control officer Everett Pilkey said a practice arrow was used to target the animal.

"It had a pointy head, a game arrow has razor-sharp edges," he said.

After the fox was forced out from under the deck, MNR staff used a net to contain the animal before Pilkey carried it to his truck dangling from a rope on the end of long stick.

"He's in good shape," he said. "It's mainly just a flesh wound, but if the arrow had stayed in there much longer, he could've died."

The MNR's Cliff Van Koughnett said the arrow came free during the rescue.

"He looked like he was pretty lethargic and he didn't try to bite us. But, he was worn out. It would be a hard thing to go through," he said.

"If it had hit a vital organ, the fox would either have bled out or got an infection and had a longer, more painful death," Van Koughnett said. "We're very happy with the outcome so far. Hopefully it will survive.

"It's an inhumane thing to do," he added. "You're harassing and harming them."

A little over a year ago, a raccoon was shot with an arrow on nearby Wattie Road, Pilkey said.

"Shooting an arrow (in a built-up area) is not a safe thing to do. It could hit a rock or something and go anywhere," he said.

Once the fox has recovered, he will be released back into the Midhurst area, Springall said.

"It's an MNR rule which aids in disease control and also, he's an adult male, so he'll be part of a family unit," she said.

Orser Drive neighbour Jane Gable was disgusted that someone would shoot an arrow at a helpless creature.

"I don't think much of them. It was a very cruel thing to do," she said. "How would they like an arrow through their backside?"

Many local residents saw the injured fox and felt sorry for it, she added.

"The neighbours have been very supportive of it and feeding it," Gable said. "One time I gave it some pork chop and gravy leftovers and Thai noodles."

To report animal abuse, contact the MNR at 1-877-847-7667 or the township.

If anyone has any more information regarding on the origins of the animal's injury, they

are also asked to contact the township.

imcinroy@

thebarrieexaminer.com



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