Forrest the fox cub was discovered at just four weeks old, malnourished and soaking wet laying in a puddle in a field outside Newquay, Cornwall by a kind-hearted tourist out for an evening walk.
When the tiny cub was rushed to Penmellyn Vets in St Columb Major, it was discovered that he was also missing his tail, presumably ripped off by another wild animal, which led the nurses to name him Forrest Stump.
The vets at the practice instantly contacted Gary Zammit of Feadon Farm at Gwel an Mor, well known for his conservation work, and love of foxes.
“He was in an awful state when they found him and it was touch and go for a long time. A fox this young can go downhill very quickly, so he needed round the clock care. It’s a bit like having a new born with night time feeds and constant attention.”
Fortunately for Forrest, Gary is no stranger to foxes having already rescued and hand-reared many foxes for release into the wild. Two of those foxes, who were unable to be release, now live at the farm and are a massive hit with visitors to Gwel an Mor who can meet and feed during a wildlife experience.
But Gary isn’t alone in his work to rehabilitate Forrest, he has help from an unlikely source, his dog Barney. The unlikely ‘kennel mates’ struck up an instant rapport, as Barney too was discovered abandoned and missing his tail.
“It really was love at first sight with them both. Barney is so gentle with him and they play for hours and hours. They are exhausting to watch. I think they might be kindred spirits - even without tails to wag you can tell they are happiest when they are together!”
The tail-less duo spend all their time together playing, Gary added: “It’s excellent news as Forrest will never be able to go into the wild now. We plan to give him a home here at the farm with our other foxes, Meadow, Copper and Todd. The more time he spends with Barney and with us at home the easier it will be for him to fit in.”
Forrest has already got a growing army of fans who keep up with his progress via the Gwel an Mor Facebook site, but the resort in Portreath are also keen to trace the kind tourist who found him so that they can keep them up to date with Forrest’s progress.