Roadkill is nothing new around the countryside with many wild animals roaming and occasionally cross the streets, surprising drivers before they manage to react. Unfortunately, a vixen fell victim to this near Cowfold, Sussex and was found at 11.45 pm by a local farmer. Chris Rolfe, 24, pulled over to check the body and found out that it was dead. But he spotted something moving inside the stomach.
He soon realizes that the vixen was pregnant and he had to be quick to save the cubs. Every second count with the possibilities of the babies dying from out of breath, so Chris rushed to his car, took out a knife, and performed a rough C-section on the dead body. With what little thing he knew from performing C-section on lambs, he managed to create a safe passage for the newborns. Soon, he pulled out four fox cubs out, bloody fresh, eyes closed, and in need of intensive care.
Chris Rolfe, 24, extracted four newborn cubs out of a dead vixen and rushed to her mother's residence to take care of them.
When asked about how he managed to rush to the decision to cut open the mother's stomach, he answered:
"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. I didn't think about it, I just done it."
Big Tip cub!
"It was just something I felt obliged to do, I wouldn't want to see the mum suffer and that is why I got out of the car," Rolfe recalls the moment when he rescued the cubs.
"And then when I realised she had passed away when I was checking her body, I saw her stomach moving."
Biscuit cub, soon after she had been given intensive care at Rolfe's mother's home.
Ginger, another cub right after Rolfe's mother's care.
Little Tip cub looking healthier a bit after the eventful day.
Chris Rolfe rushed to her mother's because she had the experience in taking care of fox cubs in Fox Project. Her mother recalls seeing Chris keeping the bloody cubs in his pockets.
"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."
In order to get the baby clean as well as their circulation going, both of them used a damp towel to rub the cubs really hard. It cleans them and eventually gets the fox body to begin working as how it should.
Biscuit, six weeks later!
They then put the cubs on a cardboard box above a heater to keep their body warm. Not just that.
They also had to help the cubs with their toilet rounds. These cubs don't know how to clean after themselves and mothers do this by licking them clean. So, they had to regularly use damp cotton wool to keep them clean.
Thanks to their effort, the fox cubs are healthy and playing!
And this is Ginger at six weeks old as well! The four cubs are now healthy and thriving.
Initially, they feed the cubs with milk periodically from every 20 minutes to three hours. Then, they weaned the cubs by feeding them puppy dog food and frozen chicks.
Introducing them to their actual diet will help them get used to the wild and together with that, the fox cubs are jumping through foster houses. With each new place, the cubs are being introduced constantly to foreign situations and learn to be independent.
Chris Rolfe and her mother with four healthy fox cubs!