Wild Family - Simon the Gray Fox

Simon the gray fox Wild Family

Simon Updates

August 10, 2016 ~ We are so sorry to let you all know that Simon the gray fox has passed away.  The muscles in his hind legs had always been weak, and last week he was no longer able to stand or walk.  Simon was the very first animal included in our Wild Family updates.  Simon was a “Samson” fox, a genetic condition, which contributed to his many health challenges.  In spite of it all, Simon persevered and lived a comfortable life at our sanctuary.  While we’re sad that he’s gone, we cannot help but celebrate such a special fox, whose life touched so many people.  Run free and whole, sweet boy!



May 14, 2016 ~ How’s Simon?  He’s doing just great!  It’s looking like this is the most we can expect as far as new fur growth.  The fur on his head looks almost normal, but his body is still covered in only a downy undercoat and no guard hairs.  He’s hanging out next door to Frank, Scooter and Fat Fox.  He can go inside for heat or air conditioning, or stay out and sunbathe.  He’s a pretty sweet boy! 

Click on his photo to enlarge it.


October 26, 2015 ~ Adorable Simon the gray fox is lovin’ life to the max these days!  He recently moved into a spot in the clinic with access to a small outside area.  He LOVES hanging around outside where he can watch the dogs go in and out, visit with Sheldon the tortoise, and keep an eye on the staff and volunteers as they come and go.  It’s grand central station and Simon's a part of it all. 

He looks terrific (for Simon) and is getting some much-needed exercise for a change. 



June 11, 2015 ~ There’s a fox in the chicken house!  Seriously!  Simon the “special” gray fox has his own home away from home.  In addition to his enclosure in the clinic, he now has a small “chicken house” outside the clinic where he can go on nice days.  It’s just the right size and he’s enjoying his days outside watching the world go by.  Simon’s also getting a lot more exercise out there, which is terrific since his muscles have never been strong.  It’s fun to see him up and running around (okay, it’s an awkward lope) and sleeping when he wears himself out playing.  



March 6, 2015 ~ Our special gray fox boy has had a few more medical issues lately.  Poor little guy – just doesn’t seem like he can catch a break.  His back legs have been particularly weak and he wasn’t wanting to move around much.  This caused a few raw spots on his skin.  Those have been taken care of and he’s healing nicely, but to encourage him to use those back legs and build up his muscles, we’ve set up a small pen outside where he can go on nice days and get a little sunshine and more exercise.   He’s not fond of being handled, but he seems to think the trip outside is worth the fuss and bother.  Oh, Simon.  We adore you! 


December 20, 2014 ~ There's a medical update on Simon the gray fox! 

Simon is a special fox, and since his arrival from South Carolina back in 2013, we’ve tried to figure out why.  Now, we think we know! 

CLICK HERE to read all about our quest to help this special fox overcome his medical challenges and enjoy his fox life!  




September 24, 2014 ~ Look how terrific our boy Simon looks these days.  He's loving being back in the clinic where we can all spoil him, plus he has his favorite soft cube again to snuggle in.  We’ll have a medical update on Simon shortly.  Stay tuned… it should be interesting! 





August 8, 2014 ~ For all of you wondering how Simon the gray fox is doing, here’s a new picture of our boy.  Simon has grown since his arrival and his hair is still coming in, but with the summer heat he was looking a little lethargic and weak.  He’s spending some time in the clinic with a snuggly bed and all the chicken necks his tummy can hold (which is a lot!).  We’ve done blood work just to be sure all’s well and so far, the results are great.  He’ll stay inside for a while – it’s easier to spoil him that way! 



June 13, 2014 ~ It’s been a while since we’ve shared Simon's progress.  Like most of the animals this time of year, he’s shedding, so it’s not the best time to take a glamour shot (although Simon never has looked very glamorous).  He’s a happy little fox, though. 






April 10, 2014 ~ Simon has made his official move to an outside enclosure.  For several weeks he made daily visits out of the clinic to Modi and Loki’s enclosure so he could get to know them.  Both are young male gray foxes about his age.  The introductions went well and Simon now wants to stay outside with the boys.  SO HE IS.  Although he’s still a bit fragile physically, and it’s hard for us to let him take these big steps, this is where he wants to be.  He just wants to be a fox.  Sweet boy.  He’s come such a long way.  Good job Simon!



March 18, 2014 ~Simon has taken a big step this week.  He’s spending warm afternoons outside with Modi and Loki, two gray foxes about his age.  It’s still too chilly in the evenings for him to stay out, but he’s really enjoying the sunshine and making fox friends.  His back legs are still weak, so he can’t climb like the other foxes, but they come down to visit him.  That’s Modi in the picture with Simon.  Simon’s still has a way to go before he looks like a regular gray fox, but he’s making progress!  Go Simon!




January 26, 2014 ~ Today was a big day for Simon!  Simon made a trip outside.  Inside the enclosure where two young male gray foxes live, we made a small area out of a puppy pen, covered it with screening, and gave Simon a few of his favorite things.  He got to walk in the dirt, soak up a little sunshine, and get nose to nose with Loki and Modi.  He didn’t have any reservations about meeting them, so, he certainly knows he’s a fox.  When the day began to cool off, we returned Simon to the clinic.  He jumped into his hammock, arranged his fresh linens, and crashed!  He was worn out from his big adventure.  At least now he can look forward to his outings.  If things continue to go well with the introductions, when the weather is warm, Simon may get to live outside with his new fox friends.  We’re so happy for him!



January 11, 2014 ~ Happy New Year Simon fans!  Time for an update on our favorite gray fox.  For those of you new to Southwest Wildllife, Simon came to us back in the summer from South Carolina.  He was just a little guy when his mother was killed and someone saw him and knew he needed help.  He was almost completely hairless when he arrived at our sanctuary, but his hair is finally growing and he looks more and more like a “regular” fox these days.  He’s very proud of the hammock we’ve given him.  It’s his favorite napping spot.  It’s not very far off the ground yet, but as his legs get stronger, we’ll raise it.  Another Simon favorite is the new “Babble Ball” he has for a toy.  When he moves the ball, all kinds of animal sounds come out.  It sounds like a zoo in there!  He’s such a unique little fox!



November 25, 2013 ~ Look who’s growing fur!  Yes, Simon!  Our little naked-looking gray fox from South Carolina is actually growing fox fur.  It’ll take a bit longer before he has a real coat, but this is great progress!  Oh, and he LOVES his toys, like the Frankenstein he got for Halloween.  Simon stores all his toys on his bed.  If you want to stay on his good side, you don't move them around!




November 1, 2013 ~ Guess who got “tutored” today?  He was pretty casual before the procedure, although perhaps he suspected something was up…







October 21, 2013 ~ It’s sooo hard to get a decent picture of Simon the gray fox.  The only reason he’s not a total blur in this photo is because he was caught napping.  After a dozen yawns and one “why are you bothering me?” look he decided the photo shoot was over.  We’re still hoping Simon will grow more hair.  There are a few new tufts around his ears.  Guess that’s progress, Simon-style!  There’s just nothing “regular” about this fox!




September 9, 2013 ~ We’ve had rain and cool weather for several days.  For a fox without any fur, the chill brought out Simon’s creative side – and his sense of humor.  He’s repurposed the soft, stuffed cube in his enclosure into a sleeping bag, by smashing it flat.  Charmed by his little face sticking out one end, we wanted a picture.  After review, none of the pictures were great, so another photo attempt was called for.  During those few minutes, however, Simon left his warm bed and raced off, returning with a piece of paper which he placed in front of his sleeping bag.  It was the label that had been taped on his shipping crate.  It read “DO NOT TOUCH!!!”  Enough of the papparazi for Simon the gray fox!  If you read the rest of Simon’s note, it ends with “THANK YOU for being gentle with me!!”  Good manners, this fox.




September 2, 2013 ~ Happy Labor Day to all!  We had a bunch of people out at Southwest Wildlife laboring away.  Mondays are major cleaning days so we had lots of volunteers, plus Dr. Leo Egar and Dr. Nick Robl were out today volunteering their time and talents to take care of some veterinary work.  Thanks guys.  We’re so fortunate to have you!  There were lots of procedures to get finished, so Simon didn’t have his exam today.  He’s doing very well though.  His appetite is good and he looks more like a fox every day, as his fur continues to grow in.  He’s found a new favorite sleeping spot – a cardboard box filled with fluffy baby blankets! 




August 29, 2013 afternoon  ~ Simon’s out of the crate and exploring his enclosure in the clinic.  Time to turn off the lights, close the door, and let him get a drink, maybe a bite to eat, and have a little quiet time after his big adventure.  Welcome home Simon.







August 29, 2013 morning ~ Simon has arrived! We're on our way to Southwest Wildlife. He's really a special boy. So glad he's finally here. Thanks MAC with Paws Animal Wildlife Sanctuary for all you've done for Simon! Get some rest!





August 28, 2013 ~ Word’s gotten around the sanctuary that Simon the fox will be arriving tomorrow.  At last check, the weather looks good for the flight.  We have five permanent resident gray foxes here at Southwest Wildlife already.  These two young male foxes, Loki and Modi, are moving to an outdoor enclosure so that Simon can move into their spot in the clinic.  The older gray foxes, Cuja, Fat Fox and Scooter Two won’t mind if Simon moves to Southwest Wildlife, as long as they continue to get their favorite meals.  Cuja prefers frozen mice and pecans, Scooter Two likes apple sauce, red peppers and mice, and Fat Fox, well, he likes everything!  





August 23, 2013 ~ HELP US HELP SIMON!  He’s running out of time! 

Kind people in South Carolina found the gray fox kit after his mother was killed by a car.  Poor Simon was in bad shape.  He was very thin and had almost no fur!  They soon discovered it was illegal to keep him, and that South Carolina wildlife authorities normally euthanize foxes which are taken into captivity.  Fortunately for Simon, Mercedes Curry (MAC), with Paws Animal Wildlife Sanctuary, came to his rescue.  She took over care of Simon and was granted a short term possession permit allowing her a few weeks to find an out-of-state home for the baby fox.  Pat Craig with the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, referred MAC to Southwest Wildlife.  MAC’s e-mail to us was desperate.  “I have exhausted my personal contacts and am now making 'cold calls' to try to find an organization who can take this fox.  The 3-4 month old fox has to be OUT OF OUR STATE by the end of August or it will be euthanized.”  Our response, simply:  We’ll take him.  After he arrives at SWCC, we can figure out the cause of his fur loss and treat it, we can give him the proper nutrition to strengthen his bones, we can offer him the company of other foxes to live with, but Simon needed help to get to Arizona – to safety.  An appeal went out to our Facebook family and SWCC received more than enough for Simon’s airfare from South Carolina into Phoenix.  We had a home waiting for him at our sanctuary.