EATONVILLE – Five orphaned fox kits are settling into their new home at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park following their rescue by wildlife officials in Idaho.
The siblings, believed to be about 2 months old, arrived at Northwest Trek 10 days ago after a rescue and relocation effort involving Idaho Fish and Game authorities and zoological staff at Zoo Boise and Northwest Trek.
They’re in an out-of-view quarantine area now and will not go on exhibit until they’re older, Northwest Trek zoological curator Heidi Hellmuth said.
The kits – three males and two females – are fully weaned and receiving a diet of puppy kibble and Nebraska brand food for canines.
They need to grow a bit, and zookeepers will work closely with them for socialization before they’re ready for public viewing, Hellmuth said.
“At some point in the future they’ll go into the fox exhibit,” she added. It’s too early to say when that might occur.
Hellmuth traveled to Zoo Boise May 20 to pick up the young foxes and transport them to Northwest Trek.
They were orphaned after a rancher shot and killed their mother as she was stealing chickens near Rexburg, Idaho officials said. The rancher didn’t know about the kits until later and cooperated in their rescue.
Idaho wildlife authorities freed them from a 40-foot-long irrigation pipe in which they’d been hidden.
“We are happy that we are in a position to give these orphaned kits a home that they need,” Hellmuth said. “They will be instrumental in helping to educate the public about their wild counterparts.”
Two male and one adult female foxes currently are on exhibit at Northwest Trek.