I hand-reared a fox cub who thinks I’m mum – it lives in bathroom and cuddles my poodle’

A woman has hand-reared a fox cub who thinks she’s its mum – and it lives in her downstairs bathroom and cuddles up to her poodle.

Belinda Rose, 38, took in the baby fox after it was brought into her vets and mistaken for an abandoned puppy.

Belinda took him home to nurse him back to health and now keeps him in her downstairs bathroom which she has covered in tree branches and leaves.

The fox – who she has not named so she doesn’t get attached – was so small it weighed 300g but after five weeks in Belinda’s home, in Newmarket, Suffolk, he has grown to 1.5kg and has become more fox-like.

Belinda has now given the fox cub to a rescue centre – which has other baby foxes for them to continue to recuperate before they are let back into the wild.

Belinda, a vet, said: “He was so tiny when I got him. His eyes were closed and he was just a ball of fur so he did look like a puppy.

“Every day he has grown and he loves to still snuggle up for a cuddle.

“I’ve had to resist naming him so I don’t get too attached and want to keep him.”

Belinda was on a night shift when the cub was brought into her vets.

She realised it wasn’t a puppy as initially thought, but in fact a tiny abandoned baby fox and gave it powdered milk.

Realising it needed proper care, Belinda brought the fox to her home and made it comfortable in her downstairs bathroom.

“I covered it in leaves and trees,” she said.

The baby fox soon started to grow and now eats a diet of meat and dog biscuits.

“He is adorable,” Belinda said.

“But he has always had an attitude.

“Once I lost him for seven hours and he had crawled behind a bathroom panel.

“When I found him he came straight for a cuddle.”

He is now lapping up milk and eating for himself and gets on well with Belinda’s rescue poodle, Arthur.

“They snuggle up next to each other all the time,” she said.

“Now the fox is bigger, they will play together too.”

The fox had been with Belinda for five weeks and has just left her to join a group of other foxes his age to then be released back into the wild in three to four months.

“I’m sad to see him go,” Belinda said.

“He’s got a special place in my heart.”