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Fox rescued in Kentucky thriving despite paralysis

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Posted at 12:49 PM, Jun 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-23 13:47:15-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Asia, a 3-month-old fox, is not the first rescued animal with a physical ailment to come to the Kentucky Wildlife Center in Lexington, but staff members say she’s unique in her positive spirit.

“You would never know that she can't use those back legs,” said PK Blankenship, the center’s volunteer coordinator. “She thinks she's a normal fox. She pounces like a regular fox. She'll jump like a regular fox. She crawls over like a regular fox.”

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Blankenship is Asia’s primary caregiver and has helped facilitate her physical therapy, which happens 15-20 minutes a day.

Asia has also been fitted for a wheelchair, which is expected to help straighten out her back.

“Through her physical therapy and using the wheelchair, she has started to use her legs a little more,” said Samantha Opp, the center’s director. “So, we're hoping that at the end of her treatment, she can at least walk on her own.”

Opp said Asia was found by a couple in Boone County in May. The couple had noticed that the kit was unable to use her back legs, so they brought her to the Kentucky Wildlife Center.

The veterinarians at the center concluded that Asia was born with a birth defect.

"The veterinarian saw no sign of injury or lesions that would require surgery,” Opp said. “So, what we have now is a treatment plan."

Opp said that Asia needs to build muscle and may eventually be able to walk, but her limitations would put her at a disadvantage outside the center.

“Even if she walks again, she'll probably never be to the point where she can hunt, flee from danger, or anything like that,” Opp said. “So she's definitely a non-releasable animal."

This story was originally published by Mike Valente at WLEX.

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