Trapped fox freed from Hackney football goal net

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An RSPCA inspector was called to a garden on Cassland Road, where residents had attempted to free the fox, who was still partially wrapped in the net and becoming distressed.

A distressed fox was freed from the net of a football goal after being trapped in a garden.

Animal welfare charity the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) was alerted on Friday, January 14, after the fox was discovered tangled in a net in Hackney.

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Charity officers have warned of the dangers to wildlife of leaving sports or garden netting out.

Inspector Jack Taylor was called to a garden on Cassland Road, where residents had attempted to free the fox, who was still partially wrapped in the net and becoming distressed.

He managed to safely secure the fox using a grasper, which is a specially designed pair of tongs to assist animal rescuers.

And he then placed a towel over the fox’s head to calm him while he cut away the remaining netting with scissors.

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Jack said: “My first priority was to calm the fox down, by putting a towel over his head.

“This gave me some breathing space to gently hold him immobile while I cut through the netting, which luckily had not broken the skin or become embedded too deeply.

“I checked him over for any potential injuries and he then trotted off - thankfully unharmed - looking back at me once as he did so.”

He continued: “Getting tangled up in netting of this sort is very stressful for an animal, particularly one that’s wild.

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“If the animal gets seriously entangled, netting - whether it’s used for sports, fencing or the garden - can cause severe injuries or even death.”

And Jack warned: “As wild mammals frequently get trapped during the night, they may have been struggling for hours by the time they are found in the morning and often need veterinary attention and sedation to cut them free, which thankfully wasn’t the case with this fox.”

An RSPCA spokesperson said the charity “receives hundreds of calls every year to rescue animals, often wildlife, which have become tangled in sport or garden nets or fishing litter”.

They added: “We advise against trying to free the animal from the netting yourself, as they can have serious injuries if they become tightly entangled.

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“It’s best that they are examined to check if they need veterinary treatment before being released.”

If you encounter a wild animal you think needs help, call the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency line on 0300 1234 999 or visit the charity’s website at: www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/injuredanimals

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