The relationship between humans and foxes throughout history has been a rocky one. Foxes have gotten a bad rap in European folklore (thanks a lot, Aesop) as did cats, wolves, and owls. In fact the "noble" sport of fox hunting was still legal in England and Wales as late as 2005, because what better way to prove one's predatory prowess than to outwit these "sly," no-good hen snatchers? Thankfully, fox hunting as a sport is no longer legal in the UK (though it remains legal in a number of EU countries), and some kind humans are working hard to make amends with these much-maligned creatures.
Case in point: the truly noble souls of East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service responded to the call of someone who'd reported a baby fox stuck for hours down a drainpipe. Rescuers arrived within minutes and diligently worked to free the poor cub—but they weren't the only ones who appeared at the scene. The fox's mother also came out of hiding, who, in her own way, was undoubtedly wringing her paws and anxiously hoping for the best. On her appearance, rescue manager Chris Riddington states, "We were amazed that the vixen turned up whilst we were trying to find the cub. It was almost as if she knew we were trying to rescue her cub."
The cub had fallen so deeply down the narrow pipe that workers had no way of reaching him. Instead, they patiently waited until the cub climbed up high enough for them to reach down and help him up. Riddington regales the story's happy ending: "Within minutes of us returning, mum appeared and walked straight over to a pet carrier which we had placed the cub in. As soon as the cub realized mum was there he was so excited and desperately wanted to get out the carrier. With some help from mum he managed to climb out and mum escorted him back home again. It was unbelievably emotional for all of us."
Watch the video below to see the entire emotional event unfold!