UK & World News

  • 11 February 2013, 10:56

Fox Attack Baby 'Recovering Well' In Hospital

A four-week-old baby who was reportedly dragged from his cot by a fox and had his finger bitten off is said to be recovering well in hospital.

The boy was seriously injured after the animal crept into the house where he lives with his parents in Bromley, southeast London.

The animal had apparently got into the family home through an open back door.

Lorraine Murphy, the child's aunt, said his mother had gone upstairs when she heard a bang and rushed back down to find the fox dragging the baby towards the door.

Surgeons reportedly had to reattach one of Denny's fingers after the incident on Wednesday. He also had cuts to his face which needed stitches.

A hospital spokeswoman said: "The Evelina Children's Hospital, part of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, can confirm that the baby has been moved from the High Dependency Unit to a ward and is recovering well."

Ms Murphy described her nephew as the "perfect baby".

She told the Times: "It was so traumatic. The family are devastated. I spoke to my brother at the hospital, but he couldn't even talk."

Neighbour Paula Wellington told Sky News: "I saw the mother a couple of days ago and she told me the fox had got into the house and grabbed the baby.

"She was fighting with it, trying to pull it away from the baby. She said it lasted a couple of minutes and she had to wrestle the fox off the baby.

"The fox had the baby, she said, and she was really shaken by it. It's really scared everyone and the family have now moved out."

The attack has reignited the debate over the growing problem of urban foxes living in Britain, prompting fresh calls for a cull.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "They may appear cuddly and romantic but foxes are also a pest and a menace, particularly in our cities.

"This must serve as a wake-up call to London's borough leaders, who are responsible for pest control.

"They must come together, study the data, try to understand why this is becoming such a problem and act quickly to sort it out."

A spokesperson from Lewisham Council, the local authority that covers the area, said: "Although rare, fox attacks can be devastating as this tragic case shows and our thoughts go out to the family at this difficult time."

The spokesperson advised residents to make their homes and back gardens "less attractive to foxes" by using repellents and "making sure that waste food is always disposed of in secure, lidded bins and containers".

Cass Barrett, of London Fox Control which uses humane methods to exterminate foxes, said he often heard of the animals coming through people's cat flaps after being lured by the scent of pet food.

He said: "Foxes coming into people's houses is nothing new in my experience. Foxes are quite accomplished climbers in that a ground floor window I wouldn't imagine should cause too much of a problem for them to get in."

An RSPCA spokeswoman said the only reason a fox would attack a human is due to fear and it is "extremely unusual" for them to hurt children.

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