Baby twins sav­aged by fox suf­fered ‘ life chang­ing in­juries’

Daily Mail - - News - By Neil Sears and Kather­ine Faulkner n.sears@dai­ly­

SIT­TING side by side in their sum­mer dresses, with floppy hats to shield them from the sun, these are the nine-month-old twins sav­aged in their cots by a fox.

Is­abella and Lola Koup­paris were hav­ing surgery in sep­a­rate hos­pi­tals yes­ter­day for the ‘life-chang­ing’ in­juries they sus­tained in the at­tack.

Is­abella, who gazes up at the cam­era, had been in in­ten­sive care be­fore be­ing trans­ferred to Great Or­mond Street Hos­pi­tal, while Lola’s face was de­scribed by her mother as ‘look­ing like some­thing from a horror movie’.

Both girls were said to be do­ing well last night, fol­low­ing Satur­day’s at­tack.

But fear of fur­ther fox attacks re­mains high close to their par­ents’ £800,000 home in East London, with the lo­cal author­ity yes­ter­day is­su­ing warn­ing leaflets, while London Mayor Boris John­son called for coun­cils to con­trol the an­i­mals.

News of the ex­tent of the girls’ in­juries emerged as their par­ents Nick, 40, who is a fi­nance di­rec­tor for a film com­pany, and Pauline, 41, a fashion ex­pert, sep­a­rately stayed closed to them at the Royal London Hos­pi­tal and Great Or­mond Street re­spec­tively.

The twins’ un­cle David Wat­son spoke of their plight as he picked up baby sup­plies from the fam­ily’s three-storey Vic­to­rian ter­race in Hack­ney’s fash­ion­able Vic­to­ria Park area.

It was there on Satur­day night that the fox crept through pa­tio doors left open in

‘They are go­ing through surgery’

the heat, prowled up­stairs, and bit both girls on the arms and Lola on the face.

Mrs Koup­paris re­alised what was go­ing on only when she heard the girls’ cries – and rushed up­stairs to find her daugh­ters cov­ered in blood, and an ap­par­ently un­per­turbed fox in the room.

It ini­tially stayed put even when her hus­band tried to chase it away with a cush­ion. The twins’ brother Max, four, was un­hurt.

Un­cle Mr Wat­son said yes­ter­day: ‘ The twins are im­prov­ing and Lola is a lot bet­ter.

‘The in­juries are go­ing to be pretty life chang­ing if a fox has mauled you in the face and arm.

‘They are go­ing through surgery at the moment, as we un­der­stand it.

‘It’s dif­fi­cult for Nick and Pauline to con­tact each other be­cause they can’t use mo­bile phones, so we have been fer­ry­ing mes­sages through.’

He added: ‘ The staff have been bril­liant and there has been an im­prove­ment this morn­ing.’

The twins’ pa­ter­nal grand­mother, Ze­olla Koup­paris, said later: ‘ The twins are fine at the moment.’

Neigh­bours re­main anx­ious for ac­tion to be taken to pre­vent fur­ther attacks, how­ever, with sev­eral claim­ing ever more brazen foxes have been a grow­ing prob­lem in re­cent years – and a for­mer Hack­ney mayor say­ing he first called for fox con­trol decades ago.

Yes­ter­day Boris John­son added his weight to the calls for ac­tion, say­ing: ‘It’s right that bor­oughs should fo­cus on their du­ties for pest con­trol, be­cause, as ro­man­tic and cud­dly as a fox is, it is also a pest.’

Hack­ney Coun­cil, which in­sists it has no greater fox prob­lem than any­where else and says it has re­ceived no other re­ports of attacks by the an­i­mals, was yes­ter­day pro­voked into ac­tion by the furore.

Leaflets were posted through the doors of houses on the street concerned, ad­vis­ing res­i­dents that traps had been left in the Koup­paris fam­ily’s gar­den.

They will stay there for the rest of the month and are be­ing checked daily by a pest con­troller. One fox was caught there and de­stroyed early on Mon­day morn­ing.

The neigh­bours were also re­quested to keep their cats in­doors so they are not caught in the traps, and ad­vised not to leave out food for pets or wild birds which could at­tract foxes.

Last night a spokesman for Great Or­mond Street Hos­pi­tal said: ‘We can con­firm that Is­abella Koup­paris is still a pa­tient at the hos­pi­tal, and con­tin­ues to re­ceive the high­est pos­si­ble lev­els of care from med­i­cal staff.’

A spokesman at the Royal London Hos­pi­tal said Lola re­mained in a se­ri­ous but sta­ble con­di­tion.

Is­abella Koup­paris, left, and her twin Lola: Both girls are be­ing treated in hos­pi­tal

Their mother Pauline

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