Urban fox 'mauls' two babies in London, England

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Urban fox numbers in London are thought to be a high percentage of the overall UK population.
Image: Oosoom.

Two nine-month-old babies were hospitalised after appearing to be mauled by a fox as they slept in cots in their home in Hackney, West London, United Kingdom. The attack happened on Saturday at 22:00 BST (21:00 UTC). It is thought the fox entered through an open door on the ground floor of the house, which was located beside Victoria Park].

The babies both suffered bite wounds on their arms, while one was also bitten on the face. Both are said to be in "serious but stable" conditions.

The babies' mother, Pauline Koupparis, spoke of her shock to hear and see the foxes in her house to local BBC radio station London 94.9: "It's something I would never have expected to happen — let alone to us and my beautiful girls. It was quite muffled but very pained. I went into the room and I saw some blood in Isabella's cot, I thought she had a nosebleed. I put on the light, I saw the fox, it just looked at me and it wasn't even scared of me. I started screaming as I realised Lola was also covered in blood."

Hackney environmental health officers set traps in the rear garden of the property the night after the attack, and a fox was caught; this was humanely killed shortly after midnight. It is not yet known if this fox was responsible for the attack.

It is thought there are some 35,000 urban foxes living in the UK, and some experts believe that as much as a third of that number live in the capital. However, attacks on humans are very rare, generally occurring if the fox is trapped and is threatened.