A CONSERVATION centre at Portreath has welcomed an unusual new resident – Margo the American Red Fox.

Headed up by Gary Zammit, Feadon Farm Wildlife and Conservation Centre, part of the Gwel an Mor resorth, has become known for its hands-on animal experiences, working to highlight the issues wildlife faces and how they can be helped.

Feadon Farm is home to a host of rescue animals with meeting the tame, rescue foxes who live there, the highlight for many visitors.

Margo the fox recently arrived at her new home in Portreath and is currently settling in at the farm, with the hope that she can join living with the other foxes in their barn in the near future.

Margo, who will be two years old in April, is an American Red Fox and has been passed into the specialist care of Gary and his team at Feadon Farm as her owner could no longer keep her.

With their long and beautifully coloured coats, the American Red Fox is bred intensively for the fur trade, with nearly three million killed in Europe alone each year.

The foxes in fur farms are usually killed around eight months old, with these animals often being kept in shocking conditions.

A smaller number of these foxes go to private keepers, even though they are not a domestic animal, which was Margo’s story.

Bred in Poland and sold as a pet, the original family who had Margo couldn’t keep her, so passed her onto a young Polish woman, who on moving to the UK brought the fox with her.

Margo was kept in a pen in the garden while her owner was at work and taken for walks around the local park and streets on a lead.

Having developed a strong bond, Margo’s owner, unfortunately, couldn’t keep her due to a move, so she has now handed the fox over to the care of Feadon Farm.

Margo is gradually settling into her new life, but it is a slow and mindful process, with the team carefully working on developing a bond with her.

Gary said: “We talk about this on our animal experiences at the farm, but it is vital for people to know that foxes don’t make pets.

“With her upbringing, Margo is not as cautious with humans to the same level as our other foxes. She has lost part of that natural fear of humans, so she will stand her ground, which is proving to be a challenge in welcoming her, but she is making great progress and we hope to be able to start introducing her to the other foxes when we are fully confident they are all ready.”

Feadon Farm is already home to Todd, Meadow, and Mavis, all tame rescue foxes who can’t be released back into the wild, but now play an invaluable role at the centre educating visitors they meet on their nature, the myths around foxes and the conservation of British wildlife.

The hope is that shortly Margo will join the other foxes and she too will also help tell an important story of how we can support nature.

Feadon Farm is a non-profit wildlife and conservation centre created to connect people with the nature that surrounds them.

Gary added: “The animals allow us to connect with our visitors in a much more profound way and our belief is that if you want people to care about our wildlife, then they need to develop an emotional attachment with it and we sincerely believe we do that here."