A fox that was covered in mange and captured by Columbus Animal Control earlier this month has been nursed back to health at Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitators and will be released this weekend.
The animal was not named, as Utopia intended all along to release it, said Kathy Hershey, who operates Utopia near Hope. She said the fox will be set free along with a baby fox that was rescued earlier after it fell into an abandoned well on an area farm.
The fox had frequented the Garland Brook area in Columbus where it had lived for several years, Hershey said, finding abundant food there and co-existing with humans without complaint.
However, at some point, the fox was afflicted with an advanced case of mange, which caused him to lose his fur, and to develop secondary yeast and staph infections, which had spread to his eyes, Hershey said.
The fox, who was nearly blind from the eye infections, wandered the parking lots of fast-food restaurants, and was seen along Central Avenue and in other business areas of the city. Hershey said the infection caused the fox to leave its neighborhood and begin foraging elsewhere in Columbus.
The fox was treated at Utopia for about three weeks before regaining its health and appearance and being ready to go back into the wild.
“He looks perfect,” Hershey said.