Possibly Endangered Baby Fox Rescued From SF Construction Site

A baby fox is currently recovering at Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue in Potrero Hill after construction crews discovered the animal lodged in a pipe at the Mission Rock development site near Oracle Park over the weekend.

Rescue efforts began around 1:28 p.m. Saturday, San Francisco Fire Department spokesman Jonathan Baxter told SFGATE. The previous night, on-site crews heard noises coming from an uninstalled pipe and found the fox’s head sticking out of one end. A security guard placed a fry next to the pipe in an attempt to lure the fox, but realized the animal appeared to be trapped, said Deb Campbell, spokeswoman for San Francisco Animal Care and Control.

They called the agency the next morning, but Meagan Clarke, one of the officers on duty, realized they needed special tools to free the fox and contacted the fire department for backup. Once they arrived, Rebecca Fenson, another Animal Care and Control officer, said they used baby oil to help free the fox and they took turns pushing and pulling as they were trying to get her out safely.

Removing the animal – no bigger than a kitten at around 6 weeks old – took about half an hour, Baxter said.

After its rescue, Yggdrasil Urban Wildlife Rescue director Lila Travis said she had to give the animal three baths to completely remove dirt and oil from its fur while she examined its body for any scratch or injury.

“She is emaciated and dehydrated but is doing surprisingly well considering. Our job is to stabilize her, hydrate her and feed her on her own, which she makes easier,” Travis told SFGATE on Sunday afternoon, noting that the fox is currently fed a recovery diet that includes eggs. hard and berries as well as thawed frozen mice to replicate his usual meals in the wild.

More information is needed before the fox can be safely released from the volunteer-run wildlife hospital. Travis said she recently learned that the pipes the animal was trapped in had been shipped to San Francisco in the past few days from an undetermined storage location, and it was vital to know. where they came from.


“California has several fox species that are endangered and we want to make sure she’s returned to an area that has her fox species,” Travis said. “We are trying to get this information from the company.”

If the pipes were shipped from the Sacramento area, the fox could be an endangered Sacramento Valley red fox, which bears a striking resemblance to gray foxes native to San Francisco. Travis also suspects the animal might be a San Joaquin kit fox, another endangered variety, but due to its age it’s nearly impossible to tell.

“She could be in a completely different state,” Travis said. “I guess this baby got separated from its mother and ran into the pipe for shelter. Then the pipe was shipped to San Francisco for the construction project and the baby got trapped and tried to get out by the small harbor but got stuck.

Reports of red and gray fox sightings are becoming more common around San Francisco, Campbell said, noting a recent Nextdoor thread in which someone said they found a live fox in their yard.

“They called us to see if there was anything in particular they needed to do, or if we thought it was sick. It sounded like a relaxed, happy fox enjoying a nice backyard,” Campbell said. always tell people not to feed them, as with any wildlife.”

This is a developing story and will be updated with more information as it becomes available.

Alice F. Ponder