Found a sick or injured adult fox or coyote? Do not touch or get too close to it. Foxes and coyotes consider humans to be predators, and will act defensively by attacking if a human comes to close. Additionally, these animals are carriers of diseases and parasites that can be transferred to people. If a fox or coyote needs assistance, call your local wildlife clinic or rehabilitation facility, while keeping an eye on it until members of the clinic or facility arrive.
Fox Kits and Coyote Pups
Found a young fox or coyote that seems healthy? It is likely not orphaned!! Young foxes (called kits, pups, or cubs) and young coyotes (called pups or cubs) usually seem to be by themselves as they begin to come out of their dens to explore, play, and develop survival skills–but mom and dad are nearby watching. However, if you are still concerned, keep an eye on the cub for the next 24 hours. Do not approach or try to “rescue” it during this time–wildlife does not want to be kidnapped! The only exception to this rule is if the pup is injured or in immediate danger.
If you need to move a cub, do so swiftly and carefully. If the cub is in danger, such as being near or on a road, wear gloves and carefully move it to a safe place, such as under a nearby tree. Leave the cub be, then, and monitor it over the next 24 hours. The parents will usually have come for it by then. If not, leave some food and water nearby to see if it is eating and drinking on its own. Even if orphaned, it is in the best interest of the cub to be left in the wild as long as it is not sick or injured.
If the cub is sick or injured, call a local wildlife clinic or rehabilitation facility. Do not handle the cub unless absolutely necessary, as the injury could be made worse and illness could be spread. Always wear gloves when handling. Do not attempt to rear the cub yourself. Cubs have special nutritional and caretaking needs that only a trained professional can attend to. Additionally, not only is it illegal to keep a cub, but cubs raised by humans do not adapt well to captivity; they also do not survive well in the wild if released from captivity. Remember, as cute as these animals can be, they are wild animals and not domestic pets.