UK & World News
Fox Bites Off Baby's Finger In Cot Attack
A fox dragged a one-month-old baby from his cot and mauled his hand, biting off one finger, it has been reported.
The boy was left seriously injured after the animal crept into his bedroom in Bromley, southeast London.
His mother was alerted by his screaming and rushed into his room to see his hand in the animal's mouth, the Mail On Sunday reported.
After a short struggle, the mother managed to free him, but by then his finger had been ripped off.
Plastic surgeons were able to reattach the boy's finger and he is said to be recovering well at home.
The animal had got into the family home through an open backdoor.
Neighbour Paula Wellington told Sky News: "I was at work when it happened but heard about it when I got back. The ambulance was still here and then police forensics arrived.
"I've seen foxes around here before but I've never heard anything like this. 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."
Another neighbour, Khadine Peters, said: "I was on the school run but when I got back I heard people screaming that a fox had attacked the baby. I think it's really terrible. You see them around here all the time.
"I look out of my window and often see a big fox sitting on the grass in the front garden. Something should be done about it but nothing has, no one from the council has been around."
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "We were called at 1638 on February 6 by staff at St Thomas's Hospital to reports a baby boy who had been admitted to hospital after being attacked by a fox.
"Police attended to find a four-week-old baby with a hand injury. The baby was admitted to hospital after the attack at its home address in Bromley."
London Mayor Boris Johnson said more needs to be done to deal with the problem of urban foxes.
"Thankfully this sort of attack, though terrible, is rare, but we must do more to tackle the growing problem of urban foxes," he said.
"They may appear cuddly and romantic but foxes are a pest and a menace, particularly in our cities."
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".
An RSPCA spokeswoman said the only reason a fox would attack is due to fear.
"It's extremely unusual for foxes to attack young children or anyone," she said.
"It's not typical fox behaviour at all. Foxes will come closer to a house if there are food sources.
"Then they can become quite bold, but they usually do back off and run away when there's people around."
In June 2010, twin baby sisters Lola and Isabella Koupparis were attacked by a fox while sleeping in their cots in east London.
Isabella was found with deep cuts to her arm and Lola's face was covered in blood. Both underwent surgery at the Royal London Hospital.
The issue of foxes attacking humans has divided the public, with many sceptics questioning recent cases amid fears of a backlash against urban foxes.
In April last year, wildlife presenter Chris Packham said he simply did not believe reports of people getting attacked by the animals.
The broadcaster said there was no proof foxes attack dogs and cats and would only do so except in "exceptional circumstances".