Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Update on our Nova

Sorry for the delay in getting this update on Nova out to everyone!  The following is from Laura Stastny, our wildlife extraordinaire and tireless volunteer. She drove Nova to his new home at the Wild Animal Sanctuary, and here is the story of their trip. 

The trip out to Colorado in September was uneventful.  I have to say, Nova was a better travel companion than either of my dogs - quiet and surprisingly not too smelly!  We made it to Keenesburg in about 7 hours and upon arrival, were greeted warmly by Toni and Pat at the Wild Animal Sanctuary.  Once I was on the property, I knew we had made the right decision for Nova.  The enclosures out there are spacious and well-designed, and everything about the staff was warm and professional.  From their well thought-out site plan, to their diet and animal behavior knowledge, I was reassured that not only could they properly integrate our blind fox into a family group with their other two foxes, but that they would ensure that it was done correctly.  I was given a tour of the facility, and had the pleasure of meeting the resident foxes, a black and white tree fox and a red fox.  Both foxes are young, and were most happy to see the dogs that travelled with us in the truck out to their enclosure.  The behavior of the foxes made it clear that they would eventually accept another into their “pack.”  I thought that leaving Nova would be sad, as we have all grown quite attached to him.  But I have to say that I honestly never looked back, because I left knowing that he had found the best home a blind fox could hope for, with space, company of his own kind, and security for the rest of his life.

In the past few weeks, I have received an update on Nova’s condition.  His one eye continued to cause problems, and a veterinary opthalmologist in Denver made the decision to remove both of his eyes.  Because Nova’s eyesight was already gone, this procedure did not harm him in any way, and in fact eliminated the chances of pain or infection in his eyes in the future.  Nova continues to stay in an enclosure of his own, but I am happy to report that he talks to the other foxes, and they talk back, and they all seem to enjoy the conversation.  As soon as he has healed 100% from the surgery, he will be integrated into their enclosure to complete the family unit.  Pat Craig, the executive director of the Wild Animal Sanctuary also e-mailed me this:  
 “He has really blossomed now that he doesn’t have the physical issues any more.  The other day he took his meat and buried it under the wood chips, and spent quite a bit of time making sure he did a perfect job of hiding it… then a minute later came back over by the meat and acted like he was staring at the area where it was buried – perked his ears up – and then leaped into the air and dove nose first into the wood chips as if he was catching a mouse tunneling underground (or under snow), like foxes do.  He was having a ball playing his stalking and pouncing game – as he did it a few times over again.”  

We’ll let you know when Nova finally makes it into the enclosure with his new friends, and post some updated photos as we get them.  

In the interim, don’t forget to join us this Wednesday, October 28th at 6:00 PM in the Nebraska Humane Society auditorium at 90th and Fort in Omaha for a presentation about the amazing bats of Nebraska and the world!  See you there!

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