Abandoned Baby Fox Builds Beautiful Friendship With Orphaned Badger Cubs

This is the adorable Disney-esque friendship between an abandoned baby fox and two orphaned badger cubs

Orphans together: Phoebe was found in a box while Betty and Bella the badgers were wandering the roadside before all three were introduced at Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary

Phoebe, the fox cub, was rescued after being found alone and scared on the streets of Leeds, UK, and was taken to the Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary.

When she arrived at the sanctuary, staff weren’t quite sure where to put the tiny two-month-old, as they had no other adult foxes to place her with.

They weren’t very keen to have Phoebe rely on humans as her source of food and support, so they had to think outside the box…

Best of friends: Bella, Betty and Phoebe play together after staff feared Phoebe would become too attached to humans if she was fed and played with by staff

Phoebe was placed with a pair of orphaned badgers to see if they could form a friendship.

It worked out even better than planned, Phoebe had connected with Bella and Betty, the badgers, and they became her new family.

The badgers were found wandering the streets of Meltham, West Yorkshire, as aimless cubs and were taken to the sanctuary.

Phoebe's family has never been found after she was discovered alone in a cardboard box in Leeds. When more foxes come to the sanctuary Pheobe will be introduced to her own species to ease her back into the wild

In the wild, foxes and badgers avoid each other, but at the sanctuary, the trio has found comfort and consolidation in one another company.

“Foxes and badgers would never mix in the wild, in fact, they tend to keep out of each other’s way,” says the sanctuary’s chief executive Alexandra Farmer

“But these three were wild animals without their mothers, all of a similar size and we thought we could place them together as long as we kept a close eye on them.”

Badgers are more likely to attack or drive away foxes and are usually thought to be the stronger and more dominant species when in the wild - but the new family forming in Whitby shows both species can be friends

“We have been delighted to see they have bonded extremely well, it’s been lovely to see them feeding, sleeping, and even playing together.”

Staff at the sanctuary hope that the animals will play a lead role in raising each other so that one day, they can be released back into the wild.

“They are staying in an outdoor kennel block in a sheltered area with some bedding and a heat lamp and they have thrived since they were put in together”

Foxes and badgers are rarely seen together in the wild - but staff at the Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary were confident the trio would get along - and they were right

“They lap puppy formula milk from the same bowl – none of them are on solids yet – and they curl up together when they go to sleep.”

“It was important that they don’t have too much handling and live with other wild creatures of roughly the same size, they can’t become reliant on human contact.”

“When some more fox cubs arrive we will introduce Phoebe to them but for now she’s getting along with the badgers just fine.”

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Written by Joe Kahlo