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Fox-in-the-box freed after becoming trapped in football netting

The RSPCA receive thousands of reports of animals trapped in netting.

A football-loving fox came unstuck at Charlton Athletic’s training ground when it became tangled in netting, before the RSPCA arrived to rescue it.

RSPCA animal collection officer Mat Hawkins attended the League One side’s training ground last Saturday after the nocturnal creature became stuck in the ground’s perimeter netting.

A thick towel and some persistence were all that was required however to set this fox-in-the-box free once more.

A fox tangled in perimeter netting at Charlton Athletic's training ground in London
(RSPCA)

“I wrapped him in a thick towel and set to work carefully untangling his leg and cutting the netting to free him,” said Mr Hawkins.

“Netting can be lethal for wildlife and pets. Sometimes, animals can get tangled and, as they try to free themselves, pull the string so tightly around their leg or neck that they can cause irreparable damage or even strangle themselves to death.

“Thankfully, for this little fox, he hadn’t done any damage to his leg and didn’t need any veterinary treatment so I popped him in a carrier and moved him offsite to release him in woodland just behind the ground. It was lovely to watch him bounding off into the undergrowth.”

Between 2015 and 2019 the RSPCA’s emergency hotline received more than 12,000 reports of animals trapped in netting of some sort in England and Wales.

The charity advises people to put netting away when it is not being used, and urges the public not to attempt to free entangled animals themselves, but to call the RSPCA immediately instead.

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