Close Encounters Man vs. Nature

Fox cub with head stuck in jar seeks a helping hand

Hopelessly trapped critter seems to enlist the help of hikers; one of them carefully removes object and sets animal free

A wild animal’s natural instinct is to steer clear of humans. But when a fox cub somehow got its head hopelessly stuck inside a glass jar recently in a Russian forest, there seemed no recourse but to seek a helping pair of human hands. Watch closely as the fox cautiously approaches hikers, and as one of them carefully pulls its furry head from the object and sets the critter free. (The version used with this post is the most widely-viewed, as it has been tweaked for a better viewing perspective.)

While the rescuers probably saved the critter from suffocating or starving to death, this was a human-caused problem that occurs all too frequently.

Just last week, for example, a white-tailed deer in Minnesota was saved in a similar manner. But that rescue effort required the use of a 10-foot catchpole and cable noose, because the doe was not as trusting of humans as the Russian fox appeared to be.

The message with these kinds of stories, of course, is simple. When out in the wilderness, do not leave anything behind—especially jars, which become animal traps baited with the residue of sweets or other tasty human food.

The head goes in easily enough, but then it becomes stuck.

What’s amazing in this case was that the fox actually seemed to enlist the aid of people. That’s rare animal behavior, indeed.

–Hat tip to Ecorazzi