A Peruvian family adopted what it thought was a pet dog, but after it began attacking neighbors’ chickens, the family learned it was a fox.
Maribel Sotelo says her son purchased the pet named “Run Run” six months ago at a small shop in Lima for the equivalent of $13, according to Reuters.
The vendor claimed that the animal was a Siberian husky, according to UPI.
“We had thought he was a purebred puppy,” said Sotelo, according to Reuters.
At first, Run Run acted like an average dog.
“He ate dog food, and when he was little he barked like a little dog,” Sotelo said according to UPI, citing EFE.
Eventually, Run Run began chasing neighborhood chickens and ducks in attempts to eat them, according to Reuters, which angered neighbors and led the family to believe he was a fox.
“A lady told us that it had eaten three large guinea pigs,” Sotelo said, according to Reuters.
Recently, Run Run took off from home. A widespread search for the animal ensued, headed by ecological police and National Forest and Wildlife Service (SERFOR) officials, Reuters reports.
SERFOR veterinarian Walter Silva informed Reuters that wild animals are often taken from parts of the Amazon to be sold in Lima.
“Trafficking in wildlife brings these consequences. Many specimens are captured from hatchlings. For this they kill the parents and these juveniles are illegally traded in informal markets,” Silva told Reuters.
“In this case a fox bought as a domestic dog,” he added.
[Lo último] @SerforPeru rescata a Run Run en las inmediaciones del AA.HH. Sol Naciente, Comas. El zorro andino está a buen recaudo y recibe la atención de un equipo especializado. Agradecemos a las instituciones y vecinos que apoyaron en la recuperación del zorro andino.#runrun pic.twitter.com/vfjYx0GaXZ
— Serfor Perú (@SerforPeru) November 9, 2021
The fox was finally corralled on Monday night and brought to the Parque de las Leyendas Zoo by SERFOR officials, according to UPI. Officials said Run Run will be looked after at a zoo until it is appropriate for him to be released into the wild.