An incredibly rare silver fox is groomed in an RSPCA Wildlife Center after being found in a garden in South Cheshire.

The impressive-looking beast was spotted on Dunnocksfold Road, Alsager, and shocked the homeowner.

The animal – which seems to be healthy – is currently in a makeshift home and was nicknamed "Shadow".

The RSPCA claims that this is the only silver fox that they have encountered in 25 years.

According to superstitious medieval folklore, the animal is a harbinger of destruction for those who see it.

Former RSPCA Inspector Amanda Lovett, who now runs Mere Moggies Boarding, helped catch the animal, which was then taken to the Charlie's Stapeley Grange Wildlife Center in Nantwich.

The silver fox was spotted in Alsager

She said, "I've been alerted to a post on a local Facebook group and it seems the fox spent most of the day in the garden.

"This was one of the biggest nights for firecrackers on Saturday, and we knew we had to get the fox to safety."

She added, "I managed to safely catch the fox with a claw and put it in a cat crate before bringing it to Stapeley Grange, who later stayed open to be admitted.

"He was very calm and seemed to be tame."

The fox is now maintained at Stapeley Grange

If no owner can be found, the charity will try to place Shadow, who did not have a microchip, with a specialist.

Manager of Stapeley Grange Lee Stewart said: "It is likely that Shadow was kept as a pet and he either escaped, in which case we have to find his owners or he has been dumped by his owners.

"He was examined by our team of veterinarians and was in good health, just a little overweight, he eats well and seems to be good."

He added, "He's the first Silver Fox we've ever had in Stapeley Grange, we've been open for nearly 25 years.

The fox seems to be healthy

"He is an impressive-looking animal and it was interesting for all of us to have such a rare inlet.

Silver foxes are the same species as red foxes that live in the UK in the wild, but with different coloration.

Silver foxes are bred for their fur, but are now sometimes considered "pets".

It is believed that the fox is a pet

The RSPCA recommends anyone who asks a pet to research the animal's specific needs before making a decision. An RSPCA spokesperson said, "Exotic pets can live long, grow up and become a veterinarian if they get sick, which can be expensive.

"Foxes are wild animals with specific needs that do not differ from wild foxes, and they need special care. Even the most experienced fox experts had difficulty keeping adult foxes successful. Therefore, the RSPCA does not recommend or recommend keeping foxes as pets. "

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