max temp: 13°C

min temp: 11°C


Video: Lira the fox cub rescued from near death by Wildlives, Colchester

12:30 15 March 2014

Zoe Leckie with Lira the Fox Cub that has been brought into Wildlives rescue centre in Thorrington.

Zoe Leckie with Lira the Fox Cub that has been brought into Wildlives rescue centre in Thorrington.

A little fox cub which was found at death’s door near Colchester is now recovering at an animal shelter.

Staff at the Wildlives Rescue Centre in Thorrington are taking care of Lira, a week old female cub who had yet even to open her eyes when she was brought to them.

Lira was brought to Rosie Catford, the owner of Wildlives, by a man who had found her collapsed in his garden, freezing cold and all but dead.

The man took her to his local vets, who in turn directed him to the animal shelter. Lira’s mother is almost certainly dead, said Rosie, so it’s up to them to raise her and get her ready to be released back into the wild.

“She’s doing really well now, she only weighs just over 200 grams so she’s tiny and her eyes and ears are still closed,” said Rosie. Something probably happened to her mother so we are keeping an eye out for any siblings that might turn up.

“She’ll be the first of many over the summer. During the spring and summer they get themselves into trouble, the mother gets killed and the cubs are orphaned. It’s the start of baby season.”

Lira is on two-hourly feeds throughout the day and night. Her name is based on the current theme in the animal shelter. Each year the animals which are rescued and brought in are named according to a theme, be it famous families, pop singers or characters from Shakespeare plays. This year’s theme is Africa.

At such a young age fox cubs are unable to regulate their temperature, and although Lira has a fur coat she was unable to keep herself warm, as such she’s being kept in an incubator.

Lira will be released in the late summer. “We try to follow what would happen naturally, as she gets bigger and we get more cubs in she’ll be put with cubs of her own age,” said Rosie.

“Once she’s feeding on her own all human contact breaks off because the last thing we want is a fox that’s tame. When she’s old enough we put them on to soft release.”

However Lira is taking some time to get used to her new surroundings.

“She’s a little minx at the moment to feed,” said Rosie. “She’s not at all easy to feed but bear in mind she’s been used to snuggling up to her mum and hanging on to her nipple.

“Babies just tend to hang on and suckle when they want to, but we don’t have the time for that so they have to take their food now.”


  • So good to see all these people helping to save the life of one tiny creature. Contrast that with Cameron and his wealthy Tory chums trying to undermine the Hunting Ban with an amendment in Parliament which he hopes most of us will not notice. And they think they will win the next General Election by making it easier for their wealthy chums to kill animals for fun????

    Report this comment


    Sunday, March 16, 2014

  • nice story keep up the good work.

    Report this comment


    Saturday, March 15, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

A woman was treated for minor injuries at the scene of a crash near the Copdock roundabout this afternoon.

There are long delays on the A14 eastbound at after Claydon this evening following an accident.

Rail travellers hoping to enjoy weekend days out in London in early 2017 are facing four months more disruption on the main line as Shenfield station is rebuilt.

An accident is currently blocking one lane of the A12 southbound in Capel St Mary.

Everyday our readers send in photos to iwitness24 that they have taken while out and about along the Suffolk coast, visiting one of our many beauty spots or while relaxing in their own gardens.

Corrie McKeague’s disappearance has left his family suffering an “indescribable” void in the 32 days since the RAF Honington airman vanished from the centre of Bury St Edmunds.

A Suffolk animal lover has set up an organisation dedicated to the responsible breeding of ‘hybrid dogs’.

Military exercises will take place next week at a Suffolk air base.

This week DAVID KINDRED takes a look at the early days of local radio in Ipswich and Suffolk.

A young man has been injured after the car he was driving hit a post and overturned in Ipswich.

Most read

Most commented


Show Job Lists

Topic pages


Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24