Rare black fox captured as experts warn second fox could still be on the loose in Barry

The fox has been named 'Shadow' by rescuers and is a male, believed to be around two years old. Credit: Black Foxes UK/Media Wales

A rare black fox spotted wandering the streets of Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan has been captured after a two-week long rescue mission.

A rescue team from local cat sanctuary SHUA Trust Home & Sanctuary managed to capture the animal on April 24.

The fox, named 'Shadow' by rescuers, was in good health and has been found a secure home. However experts warned there could be a second silver fox still on the loose after original reports suggested the creature had an injured leg.

The breed, also known as silver foxes, were bred as pets although the RSPCA has warned against keeping them as domesticated animals.

The charity said they are the same as wild red foxes found in the UK, just with different colouration.

The fox was captured on April 24 by a team from a local cat sanctuary. Credit: Black Foxes UK/Media Wales

Black Foxes UK, a group of experts in silver foxes, helped organise the rescue mission after receiving numerous reports of the abandoned animal over a period of more than two weeks.

It sought assistance from a local cat sanctuary as the team there had previously helped with the rescue of another escaped black fox in Barry in 2021.

Black Foxes UK said it made unsuccessful attempts to locate the owner and had to enlist the help of the council's animal warden and the cat sanctuary to locate and capture Shadow.

The fox had been spotted by members of the public in Barry and the surrounding areas throughout April. Credit: Nik Venn

After successfully capturing the fox, experts confirmed it was male and appears to be around two years old.

They described Shadow as "very confident around people and was clearly well-socialised prior to his escape".

In a statement, Black Foxes UK warned there could be a second black fox roaming the area in the Vale of Glamorgan.

It said: "There were reports the fox had a leg injury but he appears in good health and was taken to Vets4Pets Barry...where a dedicated team of staff provided the fox the attention he required.

"It is possible there may be a second fox, which is the fox with the injury, but this remains to be made clear. If this injured fox is seen, please contact the RSPCA emergency line on 0300 1234 999 and notify ourselves."

The founder of Black Foxes UK, Hayley de Ronde, thanked the council's animal warden and the cat sanctuary team for "going above and beyond" to help.

Shadow is currently with Animals Interactive in Pontypool. The group deliver animal education and are trained practitioners in Animal Care Qualifications.

Silver foxes became popular pets in the UK in around 2006, when laws around exotic pets were relaxed. However Black Foxes UK feels "strongly" that they should only be kept under strict conditions within education facilities and zoos, for their welfare and the welfare of local fox populations.

The RSPCA also warned against keeping the foxes as domestic pets.

"Traditionally, they were bred for their fur but are now sometimes kept as exotic pets," a spokesman said.

"Foxes are wild animals with very specific needs that are no different to those of foxes living in the wild and they require specialist care.

"Even the most experienced fox experts have had difficulty keeping adult foxes successfully. Therefore, the RSPCA does not advise or condone keeping foxes as pets."

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