Wildlife rescue center prepares to say good-bye to “Chuckles the Fox”

Regional News

DOW, Ill. – A Metro East wildlife rescue center is getting ready to say goodbye to one of their famous foxes facing a terminal illness.

The quick fox with the cute laugh and social media following, was active Monday afternoon.

Treehouse Wildlife Rescue Center in Dow, Ill. is where she has called home since 2007.

But these are some of her last days.

Chuckles the Red Fox. She came to us in 2007 after being attacked by a dog.  She had suffered some damage and it messed up her vocal cords.  So that’s where her famous chuckling sound came from.  That’s where we have plenty of YouTube videos out there where you can hear her vocalizing,” said Kelly Vandersand, Fundraising Coordinator Treehouse Wildlife Rescue Center.

“She’s not in pain; she’s in renal failure so her kidneys aren’t functioning properly so she’s losing all those proteins through her urine.  That’s why she’s lost weight.  She’s eating well.  She’s getting a little senile, but she does remember her fox mates.  She does get around well for us,” said Kerry Lennartz, Clinic Supervisor Treehouse Wildlife Center.

The nonprofit wildlife center rescues everything from eagles to bobcats to foxes and more, rehabilitating and releasing half of the animals back into the wild.

Chuckles became an ambassador for wildlife and the work done at Treehouse.

“She’s helped raise and release a bunch of fox kits for us.  So, she did eight kits this year helping them feed and catch and create normal fox behaviors, and she’s been a great ambassador for us,” said Lennartz.

With more than five million hits on social media, a fence outside her enclosure shows messages of support from fans of this red fox.

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