'Unprecedented' litter of 10 fox cubs rescued after being found by farmer

Fox cub litter rare animals. (SWNS)
A litter of 10 is extremely rare for fox cubs. (SWNS) (SWNS)

An "unprecedented" litter of 10 fox cubs have been rescued by a farmer.

The now four-week-old litter was safely handed into animal rescue and rehabilitation centre Wildlives in Thorrington in Essex on 9 April after the farmer accidentally dug up their den while carrying out building work.

There are usually only four to five fox cubs in each litter, making 10 of these "playful" and "naughty" cubs a rare number of offspring.

Fox litter. (SWNS)
The fox cubs will be released back into the wild in a few months. (SWNS) (SWNS)
Fox cubs. (SWNS)
The rescued fox cubs are 'playful' and 'naughty'. (SWNS)

Rosie Catford, the owner of the sanctuary, said, "10 is an unprecedented number of cubs, especially bearing in mind the mother only has eight teats [through which milk passes to her babies].

"The cubs are very playful but also very naughty. They argue, run around and steal each other's food, often hiding it underneath a log."

Wildlives 'rescues, treats and hopefully goes on to release everything from Bats to Barn Owls and Hedgehogs to Herons'.

Fox cub litter. (SWNS)
The fox cubs were found in Suffolk. (SWNS)

The foxes were only three weeks old when they were discovered in Saxmundham in Suffolk, having been abandoned by their mum after their den was disturbed. Fox cubs are typically born in spring and start to emerge from their den, before growing and becoming more independent in summer.

In September the cubs will be fully released back into the wild after a phased reintroduction. While they may look cute and cuddly now, they're still wild animals 'with a fierce bite', RSPCA information explains

Fox cubs are also very smart and have a keen sense of sight, hearing and smell.

Foxes litter cub farmer. (SWNS)
The fox cubs are safe and will be living back in the wild when ready. (SWNS)

Additional reporting SWNS.