ATTACK THAT HAS BAFFLED THE EXPERTS
FOR the millions who enjoy watching foxes in their gardens, the mauling of two sleeping babies has been greeted with shock and even disbelief.
This is the first time an urban fox has been accused of entering a home and attacking children, and wildlife experts admit they are baffled.
Humane pest control expert John Bryant said: ‘In my four decades working with foxes, this is unique. I think this was the tragic combination of a warm night, an open door and a fox cub three to four months old, naively going through an open door and going into a bedroom’.
He said foxes can be attracted to the smell of soiled nappies and that in this case the fox may have disturbed the twins, panicked and attacked them.
Professor Stephen Harris of Bristol University, a leading expert on urban foxes, thinks the creature may have been tempted by the smell of milk which they associate with newborn mammals and easy food. Although foxes are usually shy of people, some have been tamed by animal lovers. Preofessor Harris said it was ‘ridiculous’ to try to tame them, but added: ‘It shouldn’t be a surprise that they have got used to the idea of coming into homes.’
Martin Hemmington, of the National Fox Welfare Society, said a fox was unlikely deliberately to attack one child – let alone two. ‘After a fox bites you, it backs off,’ he said. ‘It doesn’t look to come back and bite again.
‘The only thing I can think is that the fox got into the house and panicked, but I can’t understand why it panicked twice.’