English animal rescuers jump to rescue of 'sick' fox that's actually taxidermied animal

Animal rescuers in England shifted into high gear on Monday in search of a possibly injured fox — only to learn the animal was not what it seemed.

Ellie Burt, an officer with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), said a resident in Devon, a city roughly 200 miles southwest of London, became worried about the fox, which had been hiding in a bush.

The RSPCA said the fox had been moved around the neighborhood by someone.

The RSPCA said the fox had been moved around the neighborhood by someone. (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)

The local said the fox was acting lethargic before it collapsed and hadn't moved in days, according to a news release from the animal organization obtained by Fox News.

Rescuers asked the Good Samaritan to attempt the "broom test" with the fox to see if it was still alive, and they "were told that it didn't move but tracked them with its eyes and seemed to be breathing well."

FLORIDA MAN THREATENED TO DESTROY TOWN WITH ARMY OF TURTLES: POLICE

Burt traveled to the fox, with the hope that it could be saved. When she got to the scene, she said she quickly learned "this wasn't a live fox — but a dead fox who'd been stuffed by a taxidermist."

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

"He’d clearly been placed under a bush outside of the houses as a prank," Burt said. "After speaking to some of the neighbors, I soon discovered that someone had been moving it around the neighborhood.”

The RSPCA said Burt discarded the fox "to avoid any further calls."

Fox News' Carlos Bedoya contributed to this report.