FRIENDLY: French student Quentin Fontaine with Heidi the fox at Wetheriggs Animal Centre 				    TM pic
FRIENDLY: French student Quentin Fontaine with Heidi the fox at Wetheriggs Animal Centre TM pic

A FOX that thinks it’s human is to take a starring role in a national television reality show.

Heidi, a fox that was rescued as a cub in Sunderland earlier this year before being taken to Wetheriggs Animal Centre, near Greta Bridge, is to appear on the Channel 5 show The Yorkshire Vet in the near future.

A television crew was at the centre late last month, doing initial filming, before the fox is taken to veterinary author James Heriott’s old practice in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, for an operation.

Wetheriggs owner Terry Bowes explained that Heidi is due to come into season soon and will begin to attract male foxes to the centre.

He said: “We knew we were going to run into trouble if we left her the way she was.

“One of our volunteers suggested we contact The Yorkshire Vet because they are always looking for unusual things.”

Mr Bowes contacted the film crew on Friday, August 24, and they came out just four days later to do the initial filming. During the filming Mr Bowes’ daughter Sally was interviewed about the problem.

Sam Turner

In about one month’s time Heidi will be taken to Thirsk to be spayed, after which the crew will return to Wetheriggs to film a follow-up before the episode is aired.

Mr Bowes said: “It may make the end of this series, or it may be at the beginning of the next series.”

Heidi was brought to Wetheriggs after spending time at the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), in Sunderland.

Mr Bowes believes the vixen that gave birth to Heidi may have been moving dens and dropped her young cub when she became startled. He said: “By the time she came to us she had been in human contact.”

Normally rescued cubs would be returned to the wild, but far away from local farms, he said.

Heidi is to be used by the centre to educate children and young people about the natural world.