Orphaned fox cubs for sale on Facebook
FOX cubs have been advertised for sale on Facebook for £120 each, as animal charities warn that several other attempts have been made to sell wild animals online.
Steve Dossett, a champion cage fighter, posted photographs of orphaned fox cubs on his social media page and asked for £120 per animal after claiming the mother had been killed on a building site.
Facebook users begged him to take the animals to a shelter, saying: “They are wild animals, not pets.”
Eventually, after several Facebook users began to question him, a woman claiming to be his daughter called a wildlife centre, which took the cubs away.
The RSPCA warned there was a “nasty commercial element” to Dossett’s case and the Leatherhead-based Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF), which took the cubs in, warned it had seen several instances of wild animals being advertised.
Dossett, of Woking, Surrey, posted photographs of the weeks-old cubs last Monday, saying: “Fox cubs for sale, 120 pounds lovely pets”.
The woman believed to be his daughter told WAF that her father had 10 fox cubs and that the mother had died in a road accident. She told the charity her father knew where the earth was with the cubs inside so dug them out. When the charity asked for a photograph of the dead fox to establish whether it was a lactating female, it was told the body had “disappeared”.
WAF volunteers took seven cubs away from Dossett’s flat. There was no explanation of what happened to the other three.
Dossett argued that he “only charged to get real people, not idiots that will take them for money and end up not looking after them”.
The cubs are now being reared at the WAF centre and will eventually be released back to the wild.
Simon Cowell, WAF chief executive and founder, said: “After 37 years rescuing wildlife not much surprises me but I am gobsmacked that anyone would attempt to sell fox cubs as pets.”
The sale of protected wild animals is illegal, but foxes fall into a legal grey area.
Seven fox cubs were taken away by a wildlife charity