A MAN has been charged with animal abuse, neglect and false documentation after an Arctic Fox was found wandering the streets of Seville in Spain.
The owner of the animal is a young lover of exotic species, who could not prove the legal provenance of what is a protected animal in the Nordic countries, where mass hunting at the beginning of last century considerably reduced the number of specimens.
Sources say the person claimed that he had bought the animal from an intermediary and that the specimen came from Germany. However, the documentation he provided appeared to have been tampered with.
Police suspect that he bought the Arctic Fox on the black market in June. As well as possibly being acquired illegally, police say the fox is in poor condition. A vet’s report says the animal suffers “weakness and lameness of both hind limbs, a remarkable thinness, as well as tears and slight sinking of the right eye.”
The creature is now being cared for at the Guillena reserve, where he can live in a more natural environment with members of his own species.
The owner of the fox, who has previously had snakes, was identified by the Local Police thanks to citizen collaboration. After the news of the animal being found in the Ciudad Jardín district spread on social networks, several people alerted police that they had seen its owner taking it for walks as if it was a dog.
The deputy mayor Juan Carlos Cabrera has congratulated the agents for the work done and has called for “responsible ownership of animals, ensuring living conditions according to their needs and avoiding unnecessary inconvenience and risks to neighbours.”
Now that Christmas is approaching, Cabrera has taken the opportunity to remind people that “animals are not toys that can be abandoned and that an irresponsible possession of animals carries criminal and administrative responsibilities.”