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Monday, April 30, 2012

Best of friends... or the worst of enemies: Fox strikes up unlikely friendship with cockatoo (or is he just planning his next meal?)

By Daily Mail Reporter

Despite claims this adorable baby fox and cockatoo are the best of friends, these photos seem like they are anything but.

In fact Smokey, the silver crested cockatoo, looks more like he is about to become a light snack for the recovering fox, called Sadie, who is being nurtured back to health at an animal home in Lincolnshire.

But staff at the Exotic Pet Refuge, in Deeping St James, say the pair have a struck up an unlikely friendship.

My what big teeth you've got: The eight-month-old fox cub eyes up Smokey the cockatoo

Pam Mansfield, owner of the centre, said: 'Smokey is really friendly. She started standing on the top of the little cub's cage as soon as she was in there.

'They developed a bond then and have been close ever since. Smokey is always by the cage checking on her.'

The lucky eight-week-old cub was found trapped and crying at the bottom of a quarry.

It is thought the fox's mum had to leave her down the hole to care for her other little ones, leaving the cub to its fate.

Best of friends: Volunteer Jana Syrova from the Exotic Pet Refuge with Sadie the fox cub and Smokey

Cheek-to-cheek: Concerned Smokey has been regularly checking on poorly eight-week-old Sadie

But thankfully staff at the quarry in Ketton, Lincolnshire, heard her cries and she was brought up safe and well.

She is now living at the Exotic Pet Refuge where she is recovering.

Jane Syrova, animal manager at the centre which houses all sorts of unwanted exotic pets, said: 'She had a bit of a bump on her head but other than that she seemed to be fine.

'It was lucky. I don't think she was down there for too long.

'But she is lovely, very tame and really friendly.

Chums: Jane Syrova from the Exotic Pet Refuge holding Sadie the fox cub while Smokey looks on

'We think she might stay here but it depends. She might become friends with the foxes we already have.

'We can't release her into the wild if she doesn't get any experience of the wild so we will have to see about that.'

The little fox has now been weaned off goats milk and onto ordinary cat food.

Pam added: 'When she came in she had very few teeth, so when she was ready to start eating meat the cat food was perfect for her as it was soft.

Dinner date: Smokey the cockatoo wants to be pals with eight-week-old Sadie who was rescued

'She started to move onto chicks and some rabbit now so she'll be ready to head out of the centre in a few months.'

The centre will provide somewhere for the cub to hide and hunt around for food.

Later she will be released into a larger pen within the refuge.

RSPCA Inspector Jason Stubbs, who picked her up from the quarry, was delighted about the happy ending.

He said: 'They are very good on animal welfare at the quarry and rang me as soon as she was rescued.

'I'm not sure how they got her out but she was in very good condition. She was a little dehydrated, which is to be expected, but she seemed okay.

'It's a lovely story.'



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