AN injured young fox who was struck blind after being hit on the road, will be put down if nobody comes forward to adopt him.
The one-year-old fox was rescued by motorists who saw him crouching in a distressed state in a ditch on the busy Leap to Glandore road.
They believe he may have been hit by a passing vehicle.
The animal was spotted by Eoghan Daly, who works in The Southern Star and local man Paudie O’Shea.
Eoghan said he didn’t know what he could do to help the clearly suffering fox: ‘But I knew I couldn’t just leave him there on such a bad bend.’ Paudie, who lives nearby, spotted him around the same time, and fetched a pair of strong gloves from his home and lifted the fox up, getting a small nip in the process.
‘He was very malnourished. I kept him overnight in a warm shed in my home and left food and drink for him. He didn’t touch it and I later found out why – he is blind.’
Paudie brought him to former Cork footballer, Fachtna Collins’ veterinary practice in Bantry the next day, where he’s been under the care of Jennifer Carroll.
Jennifer said they weren’t yet sure if the sight loss was caused by a blow to the head or a neurological issue. ‘It’s a case of wait and see,’ said Jennifer. ‘I’ve been on to the Kildare Animal Wildlife Foundation for advice where he can be transferred for rehab if his sight returns and then returned to the wild. If he can be wild, he should be wild. But if not, he can’t go back to the wild as he wouldn’t survive. The kindest thing would be to put him to sleep.’
The fox – affectionately dubbed ‘Michael J’ – has been given a 10-day stay of execution to see if his sight returns.
Jennifer thanked Eoghan and Paudie for their kind efforts and said a lot of people wouldn’t have gone to such trouble.
‘Wildlife does need our help from time to time,’ said the veterinary nurse.