We received a call from some folks one day late in April 2006 saying that they had in their care a tiny coyote pup that had been found earlier that morning. The people had been walking along a hillside on their way into work at about 5:30 am when they turned and saw the little canine scurrying up to them. They looked around for family members but couldn’t see any sign of a mom or siblings. It seemed that the pup was too small to be out on its own, so while they safely contained her they began phoning for help.
When she arrived at Wildworks the next morning, Fern did look a lot like a coyote. She was so small that Mollie kept her in the house, and as she watched the pup running around the room she soon gave away her true identity. Weighing less than a pound, Fern was already a great jumper—and a great climber. When she had no problem at all climbing up onto the couch and then all the all the way up onto Mollie’s shoulder, she knew for certain that Fern was a gray fox. In the wild, gray foxes climb trees to get a better view and to avoid their biggest predator, the coyote. Coyotes do not a have this capability, and when they are puppies they will look around their immediate area investigating their surroundings, but they don’t look up for safe places as little Fern was doing. Even at just four weeks of age, Fern was already showing us fox behavior.
Although Fern has always been healthy, she cannot safely be released into the wild. Fortunately, she has found a family member who loves to play with her and keep her entertained: our rambunctious border collie, Macfly.