Run Run, the elusive fox from Peru that was bought and raised as a dog

The adventure of Run Run, the fox that wreaked havoc in a Lima neighborhood after escaping from the house where he was bought as a puppy thinking he was a dog, ended after almost a week of persecution by the authorities and journalists to catch the elusive specimen and take it to an animal rescue center.

The story of this young fox, about 8 months old, had Peruvians on edge, who sympathized with the animal on social networks in the face of frustrated attempts to capture it, as if it were a character from a cartoon series.

The fox, which had been eating guinea pigs (guinea pigs) and chickens from neighbors for weeks, has become the most popular face of illegal animal trafficking in the country, where thousands of wild species are extracted from their natural habitat to be marketed in poor conditions.

This is the case of Run Run, which was bought for 50 soles (about 12.50 dollars) by a family from the Sol Naciente settlement, in the populous Lima district of Comas, from an itinerant street vendor in the center of the Peruvian capital who was selling puppies. of dog near the Central Market.

The animal was acquired in February as if it were a Siberian husky puppy, but in May it escaped from the house terrified by unusual lightning that occurred in the north of Lima, Maribel Sotelo, original owner of Run Run, told local media. .

It was then that the family realized that what they had been raising was actually an Andean fox, which began to roam the neighborhood hill and hunt the barnyard animals raised by the neighbors.

“I ate dog food, and when I was little I used to bark like a puppy. That’s why I didn’t realize it,” said Sotelo, who has had to pay the hungry neighbors of the elusive Run Run.

Despite the warnings made by the family to the wildlife authorities, they did not launch an operation to rescue him until the case was presented in the national media.

After several days where the fox mocked the attempts to be trapped with sleeping pills, the technicians of the National Forest and Wildlife Service (Serfor) of the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation managed to get hold of the animal on Monday night after shooting a tranquilizer dart .

He was later transferred to the Parque de las Leyendas zoo for the attention of specialists, where he is under observation and will remain in custody, since he cannot be released immediately into his natural habitat.

The capture of Run Run has created so much expectation that numerous families went to the zoo located in the Lima district of San Miguel on Tuesday to see the animal, although they were left with the desire, since at the moment it will not be exhibited to visitors.

More than 300 species are threatened by illegal wildlife trafficking in Peru, where more than 5,000 specimens are seized each year due to illegal activities that put the biodiversity of the country at risk, recognized for hosting more than 70% of the biological diversity of the planet .

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Run Run, the elusive fox from Peru that was bought and raised as a dog

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