Fox rescued from Eastbourne park


A fox almost died after getting entangled in a football goal at the weekend.

Animal charity, East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service is now asking sports clubs to raise netting off the ground after the incident at 8am Sunday morning.

Rescuers Chris Riddington and Laura Carrick responded to an emergency call to the fox which was caught in netting at Roselands Recreation Ground, also known as Woodgate Park.

“When we arrived on site, we could see the fox straight away, and it was well and truly entangled,” said Chris.

“I was able to cover the fox’s head and cut the netting to stop it pulling on the fox’s neck. At one point the fox appeared to stop breathing but luckily I was able to respond quickly enough and encourage it to breathe again.”

Once secured in an open topped cage, rescuers cut away at the netting which was not easy.

Eastbourne WRAS SUS-150811-164230001

Eastbourne WRAS SUS-150811-164230001

“It was clear the fox had been caught for some time. This is one lucky fox not to have been attacked by a passing dog,” said Chris.

After consulting the WRAS vet the fox was transported to WRAS’s Casualty Centre at Whitesmith for emergency treatment.

“We are pleased with how the fox is responding and we hope he will make a full recovery,” said Chris.

“Casualties like these which involve invisible ligature wounds must be monitored very closely as the surface layers of skin can break down and turn into open wounds depending on how long the pressure has been applied for.”

Every year WRAS gets called to around a dozen wildlife casualties caught in netting on sports fields, like cricket tunnels, football goals and discarded netting dumped at the side of sports fields, where hedgehogs, foxes, badgers and deer have become entangled.

Charity founder Trevor Weeks said, “We would advise people to cable tie off the ground netting or to even remove the netting completely when not in use. Even by raising netting just 12 inches off the ground is enough to stop most casualties except deer. If deer regularly visit sports fields we would advise netting is removed completely when not in use.

“We would like to thank the caller, their son as well as officers from Eastbourne Fire Station who stopped to help.”

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