AN ORPHANED fox cub which was rescued by a Crewkerne dog walker has been re-released into the wild this week.

The cub, Ed, was one of seven recently hand-reared by Secret World Wildlife Rescue.

The group, who were made up of Ed, five orphans from Minehead and an orphaned cub from Bristol, were caught on camera by Somerset-based Secret World as they made their first steps into the wild.

The return to the wild was helped out by local fox-lover Charlie, who has a soft release enclosure on her five acre farm which allows the foxes to leave when they are ready.

Charlie said: “By the end of the following day they had all left the enclosure.

“We left the door open, so the foxes could go back in if they wanted to, but none of them did. For the first five days they didn’t stray far, but then we saw them less and less.

“Five of them have now moved on, leaving two – a dog and a vixen – who we now think are living quite close by, along with another fox which we think is one that we released last year.”

Charlie and her husband have helped Secret World with fox releases before.

“We noticed with last year’s group too that a small number seem to stay and the rest disperse. We’ll try and scan their microchips when we can, so we know which foxes are still around.

“We adore all wildlife and we love having foxes on our land.”

Ed was found by a dog walker near Crewkerne in April of this year.

Once weaned, the seven orphaned cubs spent the summer in an outdoor pen at Secret World, away from human contact so they could prepare for a life in the wild.

Secret World’s release coordinator Tristan Cooper then contacted Charlie to try and find the foxes a new home.

“There’s a lot of misinformation about foxes, badgers and buzzards out there, but if people spent time watching them they would realise that they are lovely animals, each with their own part to play in the ecology of wildlife,” Charlie added.

A spokesperson from Secret World said: “It’s been a long road from rescue to rehabilitation to release, but the cubs are finally making a new life for themselves, and their first delightful moments in the wild have been caught on camera.

“Supporters of the charity’s summer appeal will be thrilled to see this happy ending, which would not have been possible without their donations.”