ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A baby grey fox now has a new life as an educational aide after a Taylor County couple found it burned and hiding on their property in the aftermath of the Mesquite Heat Fire.

It wasn’t that long ago that smoke could be seen for miles, rising from the Mesquite Heat Wildfire in central Taylor County. Upon assessing the damages many residents returned home to ash-covered remains, like Abilene couple Caroline and Trent Reeder.  

Wife Caroline says while they were out on their property, they saw something moving out of the corner of their eyes. That’s when the Reeders decided to check it out and discovered a baby grey fox. 

“At first we thought it was a baby coyote – she didn’t look like a fox when she was that little,” said Caroline.  

With open arms, they picked up the little animal and took it home nursing it back to health, naming it Smokey. 

“She had a really bad burn above her eye, and a really severe one inside one of her back knees, but the rest you could just see her fur singed where the fallen ash had hit her,” said Caroline. 

Smokey was around 2-weeks-old when she was found. When foxes are this young, they usually always stay with their mother, so within hours, Caroline was mom. 

“She went everywhere with me. I had a little pouch; she came to work with me. She was literally on my body every moment of every day for the first month,” said Caroline. 

Caroline says she knew Smokey couldn’t stay with them forever and after extensive research, she found Smokey a forever home. Along with her new home also came her new best friend – a Bobcat named “Piglet”.

“They immediately started wrestling over toys and playing like they have known each other; it was so cute,” said Spiritual Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Sanctuary Owner Moon Taylor. 

Taylor says when Caroline reached out to her about Smokey, she was overjoyed to have her. 

“She’s been learning how to understand the different temperaments of different people so that way when we go to classes – she’s not scared,” said Taylor.  

Taylor says the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for Smokey’s arrival, as her own educational fox recently died a couple of months back. 

“In Smokey’s case it was a sign, it was karma because she did come in at the same time as Piglet. Both at the same age, and she is non-releasable, so yes, it’s a blessing,” said Taylor.  

Keeping a cuddly little furry animal is what most of us would want to do, but Taylor says that taking it to a sanctuary is really best for the animal and safest for us humans.