Lakeville 'fox whisperer's' missing pet has been on a Minnesotan odyssey

Notchi the red fox belongs to Mikayla Raines, whose pursuit of raising foxes has earned her the monicker "The Fox Whisperer."
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A pet fox missing for more than a month appears to be taking part in his own version of "The Incredible Journey" as he criss-crosses around southeast Minnesota.

Notchi the fox belongs to Mikayla Raines, whose pursuit of raising foxes on her family's 10 acres of land in rural Lakeville has earned her the monicker "The Fox Whisperer."

But at the beginning of January Notchi went missing, and has ranged several dozens of miles from his home, despite Raines saying on Instagram that foxes like Notchi typically stay within five miles when they leave the familial den.

Another appeal for information was issued last week, with witnesses last reporting seeing Notchi in the Waseca area, around 50 miles away from Lakeville.

The Southern Minnesota News reports Notchi was then spotted on Sunday in the Garden City area, southwest of Mankato.

According to a flier, Notchi was rescued at a young age from a fur farm, has been vaccinated and "poses no threat to people, cats or dogs."

"He knows nothing but kindness from humans," it says, and a $1,000 reward is being offered for his return. Those who spot him are asked to try and put a leash on him.

The Pioneer Press reported Raines was granted a special license by Lakeville City Council last April to keep foxes on her mother's land. She has a USDA license to exhibit and sell them, but mainly focuses on selling them to people with proven track records of owning and caring for foxes.

She told the newspaper most of her foxes are rescues, born in captivity with a defect that makes them unattractive to fur farms.

Anyone with information about Notchi's whereabouts should call 612-961-6366.

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