Gardener tells of fox attack

WHEN a fox crept into the room of an east London home and attacked two baby girls asleep in their cots, it was described as a “freak accident”.

Wildlife experts told how fox attacks on humans are extremely rare and the animal would do anything to avoid trouble.

But one Suffolk gardener has told the EADT how he was recently bitten on the neck by a fox while gardening in Nettlestead, near Ipswich.

The 51-year-old self employed gardener from Earl Soham, who wants to remain anonymous, said he was on his knees weeding when, from the corner of his eye, he saw a brown flash emerge from the bushes and realised it was a fox running towards him.

He said: “It ran up and bit me. It just nicked me on the neck. It hardly drew blood and then it ran off. I’ve seen them very regularly out in the country but never that close up. I assumed it could be an urban fox which has found its way into the country.”

This incident follows on from the much-publicised fox attack on two twin girls in East London in June.

Lola and Isabella Koupparis were attacked after a fox apparently entered the house through an open ground-floor door before attacking the twins in an upstairs room.

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So are foxes becoming more dangerous to humans?

John Bryant, a wildlife consultant specialising in urban wildlife, said he had never found an aggressive fox in 40 years of working with them.

“The Government put out a statement after the Hackney incident saying that these sorts of things are very rare and it was the first one they had heard of and that it was a complete freak event.

“I have handled foxes for 40 years and have been bitten in a rescue situation before but I have never found an aggressive fox.

“I suspect that in this case the fox has been disturbed and woke up and found somebody next to it and panicked and decided to get out of there. Foxes do not go around hunting adult human beings.

“There is more chance of being hurt by a dog or a wasp sting.”

And Rosie Catford, owner of Wildlives Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, in Thorrington, near Colchester, completely agrees.

“We have been operating for 15 years and in that time I have handled hundreds of foxes from all shapes and sizes and you can count the number of times that I have been bitten on two hands.

“A fox will only attack people if it is cornered. I have never known a fox attack anybody unless it is disturbed or frightened. They are wary animals and not confrontational. But if you have one cornered then yes it will lash out at you.”

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