Strayed Fox back to the Wilderness

IUCN Pakistan released a stray fox in the wilderness of Hingol National Park after it learned that she was captive in the city of Karachi, with a family of a washerman of the Parsi General Hospital.

pk_st_fox2.jpg Photo: IUCN Pakistan

Taken in by the innocence of the young animal, the washerman’s family had decided to domesticate her.  The small fox had found refuge in the vicinity of hospital at night, probably escaping from the near by animal’s section of the Empress Market. Early morning, when the washerman came into work, he spotted the animal in the laundry area, initially mistaking her for a stray tomcat. The news spread like wildfire and the staff and neighbors thronged to see the fox. Washerman’s son Kirtan Babu took an immediate liking to the baby fox and decided to keep her with the family, feeding her thrice a day in their small yet cozy abode. When people around him suggested that she should be released in the wilderness he was adamant not to let her go.

News of the strayed fox reached one of the doctors at the hospital who contacted Ms. Aban Marker Kabraji, IUCN Regional Director, Asia for making efforts for her release in a natural habitat. Ms. Kabraji assigned Mr. Tahir Qureshi, Coastal Ecosystem Expert on behalf of IUCN Pakistan to speak to the family for the release of the fox.

Mr. Qureshi met the family and explained that she be released where foxes are in a good number so that she grows in a natural habitat. After detailed discussions, Kirtan Babu was finally convinced to let her go. Immediately after the family’s consent, arrangements were made by IUCN Pakistan for her safe release into the wild. It was decided that Hingol National Park was an appropriate option, as it is the largest National Park in Pakistan and a sanctuary for a large number of wildlife.

On August 13, 2011 a small team from IUCN travelled over 3 hours to set the baby fox free at the Hingol National Park in the presence of the Park staff. The site was selected in consultation with the park staff that assessed the number of fox present in the area before releasing her.  After she was unfettered she looked back, as if to say “thank you all for my freedom” and vanished into the wilderness.

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