Red fox is recovered after being stolen from Stark County wildlife center

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STARK COUNTY — A red fox has been found after it was stolen from Stark Parks Wildlife Center.

According to Stark Parks, the fox was reported missing Friday. The animal was recovered Saturday morning near Faircrest Street and Route 800, which is about a 20-minute drive from the center.

According to the Stark County Sheriff’s Office, before it was stolen, the red fox had been under the care of staff. It needs medication to stay well and is not acclimated to a natural environment.

After it went missing, staff from the wildlife center were afraid that whoever took the fox may have wanted to keep it as a pet, which is against state law.

The animal is now undergoing observation.

“He would not have gotten that far on his own, someone was keeping him and released him after seeing all of the media coverage or planned to release him in that area shortly after taking him,” said Stephon Echague, Wildlife Rehabilitation specialist. “We are relieved to have him back safe and well.”

Deputies previously said if the fox was returned at will, no questions would be asked, and no charges would be pressed.