Unusual rescue on school playing field

Fox rescue
Fox rescue

Staff at Willingdon Primary School helped rescue a fox after it was discovered tangled up in a bramble bush 5ft off the ground on the school playing field.

Staff called out East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) after spotting the animal on July 24.

WRAS rescuers Trevor Weeks MBE and Dave Novell attended the school to help the stricken animal.

The rescue centre’s emergency ambulance was shown through the school grounds and between buildings to gain access to the school playing field.

Trevor said: “We were shown by staff through to school field where the school had cornered off the area to keep children away.”

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.

He said: “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.”

With bramble scratches across his face and arms Trevor cut the fox free and brought it down to ground level.

He said the fox had been caught up by just one of its toes.

He added: “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.”

The fox was takenback to WRAS’s Casualty Care Centre at Whitesmith, where the wounds were cleaned and treated before being assessed and checked by a vet.

Trevor said: “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 a 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.This was certainly an unusual rescue but one with a good outcome.”

You can donate to WRAS by visiting http://www.wildlifeambulance.org/donation/