In 2010 9-month-old twins, Isabella and Lola, were attacked by a fox in their east London home. Last week, a 4-week-old baby boy was also mauled by a fox and narrowly escaped fatal head injuries thanks to his mum being able to fight off the fox and pull him to safety. Read our advice on how to keep your family safe from urban foxes.
Four-week-old baby boy Denny Dolan, is recovering in hospital after an operation to reattach his finger, which was almost bitten off by the fox, and to stitch up the deep wounds in his face. His mum, Hayley Cawley, was alerted to the attack after hearing a piercing scream from Denny’s bedroom.
It took a number of kicks before the fox eventually ran away and Hayley was able to grab her baby from the floor and take him to hospital. Both parents claim that the fox was able to get into the house because of a faulty door lock which the local council had repeatedly refused to repair.
Calls for a cull
In response to the attack on Denny and the earlier attack on the Koupparis twins, Isobella and Lola, London Mayor Boris Johnson backed up calls to cull the foxes, saying: ‘It’s right that boroughs should focus on their duties for pest control, because, as romantic and cuddly as a fox is, it is also a pest.’
The local council in Hackney, where the Koupparis family live, say their fox problem isn’t worse than anywhere else, but they have issued leaflets advising people to keep cats indoors and not leave pet food outside.
However, neighbours of the Koupparis family in East London say there is a big problem with foxes becoming more brazen in the area.
The twins’ mum, Pauline, told The Sun soon after the attack that she will channel all her energy into getting someone to act on the urban fox problem.
Pauline said: ‘I could not live with myself if this happened to another family.’
Do you think a fox cull is necessary? Do you have a problem with foxes in your area?
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Should I be worried about foxes in my area?
Foxes are becoming more common in urban areas – some estimates suggest that there could be up to 10,000 living in London alone. They can become a nuisance by emptying bins, digging, fouling and making lots of noise.
However, it is very rare that they are reported to attack a human.
John Bryant, a Humane Wildlife Deterrents Officer, told the BBC: ‘It’s a freakish event – it’s not in my experience of fox behaviour. Foxes do anything to avoid trouble really.’
The RSPCA said: ‘Foxes are shy creatures and this sounds like an extremely rare occurrence, however our thoughts are with the children and their families. We wish them a speedy recovery.’
How do I keep foxes away from my house?
The charity The Fox Project, which deals with sick and injured foxes, say that using repellents is a humane way to keep foxes away from your garden – they recommend either ‘Scoot’ or ‘Get off my garden’. Both of these can be bought online at foxolutions.co.uk.
The RSPCA said: ‘If people have issues with foxes near their homes they should contact their local authority or a licensed pest controller. To discourage foxes from people’s property they should also ensure any rubbish and household waste left out is secure and not open for scavenging.’
What do you think?
This story has definitely shocked us – Do you see a lot of foxes in your area? Have you ever had one come into your house? Tell us your thoughts and stories by leaving a comment in the box below or on facebook.