Arctic fox found in Soddy-Daisy shows why keeping wildlife as pets can be a problem

Contributed photo by Juniper Russo / Cooper, an arctic fox found outside of its enclosure last week in Soddy-Daisy, has a new home at Exotic Pet Wonderland in Knoxville, Tenn.

A Chattanooga wildlife rescue organization last week received a call from a Soddy-Daisy woman who discovered what she believed was a silver fox pawing at her back door, trying to get inside.

"Obviously, that's not a normal thing for a fox to do," said Juniper Russo, executive director of the group, known as For Fox Sake.

Russo said the animal -- a nonnative arctic fox -- was likely obtained by someone in the area as a pet.

The fox, which rehabilitators called Cooper, didn't have a microchip, so Russo posted photos of the fox on social media to see if she could track down his legal owner.

The post eventually reached Cooper's most recent owner, who said the fox was acquired from a friend who was neglecting the animal.

Cooper's temporary keeper had constructed an enclosure from chicken wire to use as a short-term home for the fox, who escaped and made his way to the yard of the neighbor, who contacted For Fox Sake.