A construction worker who thought he had rescued an abandoned puppy from a building site later discovered he had taken home a fox cub.
The tiny cub was mistaken for a puppy when he was found apart from his mother on the site in Speke, Merseyside.
He was taken home by a worker, who later contacted the RSPCA after realising he had a fox cub in his house.
Animal welfare officer Matt Brown, who went to collect the cub on Monday, said: “The worker was on a building site in Speke when he came across what he initially thought was an abandoned puppy and as he could see no mother around he took him home.
“But when someone told him it was not a pup but actually a fox cub he rightly called the RSPCA.”
The cub, thought to be less than a month old, was taken to a vets where he is being fed on puppy milk and waiting to be transferred to the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Nantwich.
Once he is independent and strong enough, he will be released back into the wild.
Mr Brown said normally mothers would return for their cubs.
He said: “In most cases females will return and collect their cubs if given the opportunity, and it’s not unusual to see older cubs above ground on their own during the day learning survival skills and the parents are usually nearby.”
Lee Stewart, manager at Stapeley Grange, said: “If you find a fox cub on their own and their eyes are open, the cub is probably fine – the parents will usually be nearby.
“Leave a supply of dog food and water nearby and check again after 24 hours.
“If the cub is in immediate danger – on a road or somewhere very exposed – safely move the cub to a sheltered, safe spot nearby, handling the cub as little as possible.”