Every year wildlife rescue centres across the UK take in and care for thousands of sick, injured and orphaned foxes.

However, it is common for members of the public to try and rear foxes themselves. Without specialist care young foxes can become imprinted, recognising humans as their parents, and are therefore unable to be re-released into the wild.

This spring, The Wildlife Haven Rescue Centre (WHRC) in Thirsk, is urging people to contact an experienced rescue centre if they find a sick, injured or orphaned fox, rather than trying to care for it themselves.

"We receive numerous calls every year from people who have hand-reared fox cubs and six months down the line don't want them any more" says Lauren Langley, founder of WHRC.

"Wild animals do not make good pets. Fox cubs may be very cute when they are young but can become unmanageable as they grow older"

Often, these imprinted animals are unable to be re-released and so rescue centres are left with the decision to either have them put to sleep or condemn them to a life in captivity.

"We appreciate people are tying to do the right thing by caring for wildlife themselves. However, even the best intentions can cause more harm than good. We would urge people to call us, or another experienced rescue centre, for advice if they find a sick, injured or orphaned wild animal. At the end of the day it comes down to the welfare of the animal."

For more information about The Wildlife Haven Rescue Centre please visit their website; www.thewildlifehaven.org or find them on Facebook; www.facebook.com/thewildlifehaven