Canadian family rescues abandoned puppy that turns out to possibly be a fox

Whitehorse, Canada (CBC News/CNN) — A Canadian family thought they rescued a puppy that had been abandoned by a lake.

But it turns out — that little guy might not be a puppy at all!

This little fellow is now just over a week old.

His eyes are still closed but he’s gaining strength and weight.

He was in poor shape when he was discovered abandoned near Marsh Lake over the Easter weekend.

“I just defaulted to thinking it was a dog and we needed to get it attended to because we don’t have that capability, I’m not a mommy,” resident Ralph Shopland said.

The family turned to Facebook to try and find a wet nurse.

So for a few days the little one had a surrogate.

But then they found out the little pup, well, it isn’t a pup at all.

And then came questions… Just what is he?

“Originally they thought it was a dog, but it wasn’t a dog, then they thought it might be an otter or a marten or a wolverine possibly,” Dave Bakica, Conservation Officer said.

Officials here at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve says they’re now pretty sure it’s a fox.

“Young fox have white tips on their tale… Just like this little guy,” Maria Hallock, Yukon Wildlife Preserve said.

But they’re waiting until he grows a bit more to say for sure that’s what he is.

For now, he’s getting the care he needs bottle feeding every three hours.

“Seems like he is well hydrated and active he doesn’t cry between meals so that means he isn’t hungry he’s getting enough milk. I only had him for a day and a half and he gained six grams since yesterday,” Shopland said.

Conservation officers says in this case the mother fox was likely hit by a car and the little one was truly abandoned.

But generally, they urge people not to touch wild animals.

“it’s that time of year, if you think you’ve found orphaned wildlife in most cases mother is very close by and just waiting for you to leave. We try to tell people, please do not pick up any orphaned wildlife,” Hallock said.

As far as this little one… The future is uncertain.

“He’ll likely live in captivity since he’s now imprinted with humans,” Hallock said.

And if there’s not room at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve, officials says they’ll find him a home at another site.

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