Officers Rescue Baby Fox Trapped in Storm Drain

iStock/Thinkstock(KEARNEY, Mo.) -- A baby fox trapped in a storm drain in Kearney, Missouri, was rescued by two police officers, who had to navigate more than 150 feet of the system to rescue him.

Nearby residents originally reported "hearing strange noises" coming from the storm drain late Wednesday night, according to Kearney Police Department Seargant, Joe Kantola, who responded to the call.

"I thought it was a puppy at first," Kantola told ABC News. "But I went down to the other end of the cul de sac, where the noises sounded louder. I looked down and there it was, a baby fox."

The "sly, scared" fella kept running away, so Kantola had to call for "backup," he laughed.

Kearney Police Officer JD Garton responded, armed with a box and blanket, Kantola said.

Garton went down a manhole on one end of the street, and Kantola was on the other. Together, they were able to trap the baby fox and get him into the box.

"The little guy was very tired, wet, shivering," Kantola said. "He was probably exhausted. I'm sure he wouldn't have lasted very long. It was very cold, it had rained the other night and the little guy hadn't gotten anything to eat down there."

The two officers brought the fox back to the police station, Kantola said, adding that he was "quiet at first." Once he got a little more comfortable, "he started talking a bit."

The fox was then taken to a local animal hospital and, finally, a wildlife animal rehabilitator, Kantola said. Once the fox is nursed back to health, he will hopefully be able to go back home to the wild.

Kantola said this is the third fox he's rescued in his patrol career. He's also rescued five owls.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Check Also

Labrador retriever flunks out of bomb-sniffing school for not wanting to detect bombs

Labrador retriever flunks out of bomb-sniffing school for not wanting to detect bombsRuskpp/iStock/Thinkstock(MCLEAN, Va.) -- A Labrador retriever named Lulu has flunked out of bomb-sniffing school after she displayed to her handlers that she was no longer interested in detecting bombs, according to the CIA.

"We are sad to announce that Lulu has been dropped from the program," the CIA announced in a press release Wednesday.

Lulu did not make the cut to graduate with her fellow fall 2017 puppy classmates after she began to show signs that she wasn't interested in sniffing out explosive odors a few weeks into training.

We’re sad to announce that a few weeks into training, Lulu began to show signs that she wasn’t interested in detecting explosive odors.

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017

There are a million reasons why a dog has a bad day & our trainers must become doggy psychologists to figure out what will help pups.

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017

Pups often have off days when they're training for such an important job, the CIA said. The issue -- which can often be fixed with more playtime and breaks -- is often temporary.

"After a few days, the trainers work the pup through whatever issue has arisen, and the dog is back eagerly and happily ready to continue training," the CIA said. "But for some dogs, like Lulu, it becomes clear that the issue isn’t temporary."

Lulu wasn’t interested in searching for explosives.
Even when motivated w food & play, she was clearly no longer enjoying herself.

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017

Lulu was no longer motivated to search for explosives and was "clearly not enjoying herself any longer" when motivated to do so with food and play.

"It's imperative that the dogs enjoy the job they’re doing," the CIA said.

Trainers made the "extremely difficult decision" to drop Lulu from the program for her physical and mental well-being, the CIA said.

Lulu's handler adopted her, so she now enjoys cushy work-free days that include playing with his children and sniffing out rabbits and squirrels in the backyard. She even has a new friend -- a fellow Labrador retriever -- to hang out with all day.

Lulu was adopted by her handler & now enjoys her days playing w his kids & a new friend, & sniffing out rabbits & squirrels in the backyard.

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017

"We’ll miss Lulu, but this was the right decision for her," the CIA said. "We wish her all the best in her new life."

We’ll miss Lulu, but it was right decision for her & we wish her all the best in her new life!

— CIA (@CIA) October 18, 2017

Lulu's handler is still on the search for an explosive detection K-9 partner, the CIA said.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.