Emergency Fox Rescue at Willingdon Primary School

Staff at Willingdon Primary School had to call out East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) on Wednesday afternoon (24th July 2013) after a fox was tangled up 5ft off the ground in the middle of a bramble bush on the school playing field.

WRAS rescuers Trevor Weeks MBE and Dave Novell rushed to the school in order to help the fox. WRAS's emergency ambulance with lights flashing was shown through the school and between buildings to gain access to the school playing field. "We were shown by staff through to school field where the school had cornered off the area to keep children away" explained Trevor Weeks.

At first rescuers were unsure how the fox was caught up but it quickly became apparent the fox was hanging by a rear leg off the chain link fence behind the brambles. Trevor had to cut the brambles away to gain access to the hanging fox, before using a dog grasper to secure the fox so it wouldn't run off once cut free. "It was not easy to support the fox and at the same time figure out how the fox was attached all from working inside the middle of a load of brambles" said Trevor.

With bramble scratches across his face and arms Trevor was after about 10 minutes able to cut the fox free and bring it down to ground level. "We dealt with various animals with their rear legs caught up in fencing but this is a first to have an animal caught just by one toe" said Trevor.

The fox was rushed back to WRAS's Casualty Care Centre at Whitesmith, where the wounds were cleaned and treated before being assessed and checked by a vet. "The fox has a fractured toe, several small wounds around the foot, and two open wounds either side of the pelvis. This fox has been extremely lucky - it was spotted early enough that fly had only just started laying eggs on the wounds and there were no sign of maggots, but also with the school summer holidays starting today the fox may not have been noticed and could potentially have died a slow and horrible death" said Trevor.

This was certainly an unusual rescue but one with a good outcome.

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WRAS Media Contact: 07931-523958 | Office: 01825-873003

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