This story starts off sad, but it ends just like the inspiring holiday story we all need right now. Maciek is a polar fox who, in September of 2019, was rescued from a fur farm by activists from Otwarte Klatki (Open Cages Poland). When They found him, Maciek was wounded.
He had to be taken away because of an extensive paw wound, which was very infected and put his life in danger. Maciek didn’t get proper medical treatment while on the farm because it’s simply not profitable for the farmers. Even though he lost his paw due to his previous owners’ negligence, he’s been enjoying his life outside of the fur farm and just being his sassy little self.
Maciek was rescued by activists after they found out he was wounded. It turned out he had a severe paw injury and he didn’t get any veterinary care. The doctors fought to save his paw for weeks, but in the end, it had to be amputated. However, having 3 paws doesn’t stop him from having fun and experiencing snow for the first time.
His dog friend Klara showed him that snow is supposed to be fun. But Maciek wasn’t that convinced at first. Finally, he caved and gave it a chance. Apparently, he loves snow. He needed to regain his energy. So that he could go chase Klara once again. They were both puppies when they first met, so they treat each other as siblings.
Maciek got very lucky and gets to live the best life. But he’s also an ambassador for all the foxes still killed for fur. Watching Maciek’s first experience with snow proves that foxes need running and fun. And he knows his caretakers won’t stop until all the animals get what he was lucky enough to get—justice. Photos are by Andrew Skowron from Otwarte Klatki.
Are they endangered? The arctic fox is categorized into the Critically Endangered category meaning they are in danger to be extinct in three generations. It is estimated to be a 50% chance. The Arctic fox was impacted hugely by the fur trade because of its extremely high quality fur coat. The fox is still hunted now for its fur, particularly by native populations who live close to them. The fur trade has decreased a large amount and the Arctic fox is not as vulnerable to over exploitation as it once was.
The lack of prey is the most common threat for the Arctic fox. Disease and genetic pollution of the species by foxes bred in captivity also threatens this species. Another threat that impacts the Arctic fox is the climate change because the temperatures in the Arctic are rising at twice the rate of the rest of the world. Warming temperatures can lead to many changes in the Arctic which include reduced sea ice, melting permafrost and rising sea levels.
The Arctic Fox is an important species in its environment, presented as food for many well-known animals such as the Polar Bear. Without it being a source of food for these animals, many others will face extinction.