LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – One little fox has been gaining a lot of attention on social media, for one very unique reason. While she may have a disability, the folks at the Kentucky Wildlife Center are determined not to let that stop her.
When you walk through the doors at the Kentucky Wildlife Center, you may be greeted by the friendly house cat waiting for an ear scratch, or the curious bunny ready for her close up.
“That’s what we do here. We take care of every animal to the max,” said PK Blankenship.
For some, it’s a place to rest and rehabilitate before being released back into the wild. For others, it becomes their home.
“She’s come a long way, she really has. It used to be that there wasn’t any movement in those back legs at all,” Blankenship said.
Asia the three-month-old Red Fox became a “permanent resident” back in May. She was found by a Boone County couple who immediately called the center’s director, Sam Opp, when they saw Asia try to walk.
“They noticed she wasn’t using her back legs,” Opp said.
It’s a disability Opp believes Asia has had since birth, and something that would have left her defenseless, and eventually dead, in the wild.
“You would never know she can’t use those back legs. She thinks she’s a regular fox. She pounces like a regular fox. She jumps like a regular fox. She crawls over you like a regular fox,” Blankenship said.
But what you may not see on a regular fox is the shiny wheelchair.
“Sometimes it’s funny. We put her in it and she’s like a NASCAR race driver. She takes off,” Blankenship said.
While Asia may have the need for speed, learning to use the chair isn’t always a smooth ride.
“I’m not saying she won’t bump into something, it does frighten her. It’s just like as a child. She would tumble off her mom and shake it off,” Blankenship said.
Still a wild animal, there are days Asia isn’t in the mood for physical therapy.
“If she’s just having a bad day, she’ll get more free time, which is after every session anyways,” Opp said.
With the help of Opp, her handler Blankenship, and the wheelchair, she will most likely be able to walk using her back legs one day.
“She has shown improvement in using those back legs to actually stand on her own. She is a very determined fox kit. She’s not giving up and we’re not giving up on her either. We’re in it for the long haul,” Blankenship said.
The Kentucky Wildlife Center is working to get a chair specifically made for Asia. The center is a non-profit and runs solely on donations. You can follow this link if you’d like to help.