A lost red fox was rescued on Monday morning by representatives of the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons, where he is now being treated for multiple skin infections.
The most serious problem for the young fox appears to be mange, commonly referred to as scabies, a skin condition caused by mite bites that can cause the mammal to lose its hair and become susceptible to other skin infections, according to Dr. Bethany Rottner of the center.
The fox was rescued by Southampton Village Police as well as rescue center officials on Monday morning, just before 11 a.m., outside of the Southampton Publick House on Boden Square. He was captured using a net and transferred to the Hampton Bays headquarters for the Wildlife Rescue Center for evaluation and treatment.
On Monday afternoon, Dr. Rottner said in addition to mange, which is primarily on his legs and tail, the fox—which she estimated was born earlier this year—is suffering from secondary skin conditions. He is being treated for the mange and is on a round of antibiotics for his skin.
The plan, according to Dr. Rottner, is to rehabilitate the animal and release him back into the wild in a few weeks. She said the fox will have to be carefully monitored for the time being because mange can cause serious reactions for foxes, but that once he’s healthy again he will be released in the woods. Dr. Rottner said a safe location will be selected near where he was found.
Dr. Rottner said she could not say why the fox was roaming around the village, but she did say there have been quite a few foxes at the Wildlife Rescue Center this summer. She added that the foxes found so close to people might be traveling in search of food.
“He has been resting comfortably and eating well,” Dr. Rottner said, “which is a good sign for his recovery. We are going to have to watch him for the next several days to weeks to see how he responds to treatment.”