Rare mixed-breed fox cubs taken in by Yorkshire sanctuary after being found in garden shed

A pair of foxes thought to be a mix between the traditional red fox and an Arctic fox are being cared for at a sanctuary in Yorkshire after being discovered in a garden shed.

The fox cubs have been taken in by a sanctuary in Whitby. (Pic: SWNS)

The animals were found last week by a bemused homeowner in the garden of a property in Hampshire, before being moved to Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary over the weekend.

Sanctuary workers have named the pair Debbie and Harry after hit 70s group Blondie, whose lead singer Debbie Harry was famed for her platinum locks.

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It's believed the cubs are the result of a male red fox, commonly seen in the UK, mating with an Arctic fox, which are native to polar regions such as Antarctica.Wildlife sanctuary manager Alex Farmer said it's likely Debbie and Harry were bred to be sold in the illegal exotic pet trade, as there is a market for foxes with lighter-coloured fur.

The pair have been named Debbie and Harry, after Blondie singer Debbie Harry (Pic: SWNS)

It's not yet known how they came to end up in the garden shed of a residential property.

Alex said the RSPCA attended the scene in Hampshire and helped transport the cubs, which are thought to be around three months old, to charity Wildlife Aid in Surrey.

Harry was having seizures and suffered hypoglycaemia initially but he has now been nursed back to health and both cubs are said to be in great spirits.

Fantastic photos show the pretty pair playing with each other in the sanctuary and nosily poking around their new and unfamiliar surroundings.

The cubs were found in a garden shed (Pic: SWNS)

Alex explained the animals were immediately friendly, tame and approachable, which is what has led her to believe they were bred in captivity in order to sell.

She said: "Both Debbie and Harry are very affectionate, which is highly unusual for fox cubs. Usually they're very nervous and wary of people. These two are lovely animals but unfortunately we think they were probably bred for the exotic pet trade.

"After doing a fair bit of research and speaking to fellow fox carers, there was a collective agreement they've been bred from a red fox and an exotic, an Arctic fox perhaps. Their colouring is certainly quite different so we are interested to see them grow.

"Why they were abandoned we will never know."

It's likely Debbie and Harry were bred to be sold in the illegal exotic pet trade. (Pic: SWNS)

Alex said it's not yet clear what the future holds for Debbie and Harry. Ordinarily, rescued fox cubs would be looked after until they can be returned to the wild.

However, if these two were indeed bred in captivity and are half Arctic fox it means they will never be released and will likely remain at the sanctuary.