Daily Mail - - News -

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.’

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