Dordogne: this unique refuge collects foxes unfit for the wild

This is an unprecedented project in France. This year, the association “Le Clos des Renardises” should open an educational refuge where it will welcome foxes. Not to breed it, but to provide a home for canines “wounded”, “too impregnated” or at least “unfit for the wild”. A sanctuary presented as “the only alternative to euthanasia”.

Le Clos des Renardises should see the light of day in Douzillac, in the Dordogne. Volunteers from the association of the same name, founded in 2020, are currently clearing a 1,500 m2 plot where the shelter will be built. If everything goes according to plan, the first foxes should be collected there in the summer of 2022, as reported 20 minutes.

There is only one fox sanctuary in France and that is in Alsace. Baptized the Arche de Cerise, it houses six lodgers. The Clos des Renardises site, in turn, hopes to house a dozen foxes and can expand if necessary. But not a matter of bringing back a fox. To be admitted to this new kind of refuge, canids must be “unsuitable for wildlife” for several reasons.

“A constructive alternative to euthanasia”

For example, the association wants to take care of injured foxes that are taken in by shelters, but whose consequences do not give them a chance to survive in the wild. “The fox mulote to catch rodents, which represent 75% of his food and for that he must have 100% of his hunting power”specifies Carine Gresse, founder of the association, quoted by 20 minutes.

In addition, it will be in contact with the French Bureau of Biodiversity, which must regularly manage the catches of foxes. Most departments classify these canids as a “harmful species”, recalls South West. Finally, some individuals tame foxes that become so “too impregnated” to return to their natural habitat. They too can take refuge at the Clos des Renardises, presented as a “constructive alternative to euthanasia”. All animals cared for by the association are sterilized, provided with chips and first taken care of in a separate enclosure before they join the other residents.

An educational haven to change your outlook

The project has already received an agreement in principle from the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, but the association is waiting for a financial green light. She submitted grant applications to local authorities and also launched a crowdfunding campaign.

The site also wants to develop an educational activity, to make the general public aware of an “unloved” species, which still suffers from many prejudices. “The animals will serve as educational visual aids for events for all audiences, especially for schools. (…) It will not be open to the public, but may be visitable under conditions to be agreed with veterinary services management and the department”explains Carine Gresse to our sisters and brothers 20 minutes. The reception center could organize open days for school children once a year.

A unique sanctuary committed to an educational approach to biodiversity, to better conserve it.

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