Saved: Tiny Edinburgh fox cub nearly came to a sticky end
A little fox cub has been named Sticky after he was rescued from a miserable death in a cruel glue trap.
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The Scottish SPCA has made a fresh call for a ban on the adhesive traps after the tiny cub was caught in one in Edinburgh.
The animal welfare charity has long opposed to the use of glue traps, which are trays coated with a sticky adhesive typically used to trap rodents and animals classed as vermin.
A Scottish SPCA inspector was alerted to the baby fox on the morning of April 10. The poor fox had been caught in the trap in Pitt Street overnight and the caller heard him wailing in pain. The cub was whisked to the Scottish SPCA’s world-leading National Wildlife Rescue Centre.
The wildlife team set to work cleaning his fur. It was badly matted by the adhesive and, though they were able to remove some of the substance through a mix of fairy liquid, vegetable oil and soapy water, they had to shave some of his fur.
Sticky has since been recuperating in the Society’s large mammals’ unit at the centre. He is one of more than 20 fox cubs being looked after and will be released later in the year when he is old enough to fend for himself in the wild
Scottish SPCA wildlife manager Steve Gray said: “The prognosis for Sticky wasn’t good. The glue trap had seriously damaged his fur and skin. The team spent hours treating him on arrival and their efforts have really paid off. Now, he’s a happy, playful baby fox who is getting on well with the other cubs we’ve grouped him with.
“In a few months’, we will release Sticky at a suitable release site where we hope he will have a long, happy life in the wild.”
The Scottish SPCA is fiercely opposed to the use of glue traps in any form.
Chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “We understand a pest control firm supplied the address with glue traps to deter vermin. Shockingly, glue traps are still legal in the UK. This poor fox cub’s lucky escape is further proof that they are an ineffective form of pest control.
“The Scottish SPCA has long advocated a total ban on glue traps. Thankfully, our brilliant rescuer and wildlife team have been able to save and care for Sticky, but many other wild animals aren’t so lucky.”
Last year, the Scottish SPCA’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre treated over 7,500 wild animals. The Society’s inspectorate responded to over 77,000 reports of animals in need in 2020.