A long way from home: rare white fox found on Lantau hiking trail
Animal, which is not native to Hong Kong, was rescued by authorities and is now being cared for by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
A rare species of wild fox not native to Hong Kong was found trapped on a Lantau Island trail on Friday night and was later rescued by firefighters, prompting authorities to investigate where the animal had come from.
The 1.5 ft-long fluffy white marble fox was now being cared for by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after it was picked up by a pair of hikers in a diversion channel at around 10pm Friday night.
A society spokeswoman said that although the fox did not sustain any injuries and was able to eat, it looked skinny and frightened.
“The fox is scared of people. We do not know its sex and age at the moment as our vets cannot do a check-up on it. We will let it rest in a quiet environment for now,” she said, adding that it was in stable condition.
“We have to isolate the fox in our Kowloon centre as a wild fox might carry rabies.”
The group said the red fox was the native species to Hong Kong but had been all but wiped out, whereas the marble fox was a wild species.
“We do not rule out that someone brought it from abroad and kept it as a pet. The owner later dumped it or it got lost somewhere,” the spokeswoman said.
She added the group stayed in contact with Kadoorie Farm and departments including the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department to discuss further arrangements for the creature. Adoption is not possible since it is a wild animal.
The police confirmed that a 27-year-old hiker, surnamed Chan, reported the case at 10.27pm. Fire officers were called to the scene to rescue the fox, which was later picked up by animal inspectors from the SPCA.
Hiker Ivan Li uploaded pictures of the fox on his Facebook page, saying that he found it trapped in the diversion channel when he was hiking with a friend. He described the fox as “very skinny and (looks) very hungry”.
“The fox was hobbling. I thought it was injured. I felt like it was hungry, so I gave it my bread,” he wrote.
He later reported the case to the police and the SPCA.