Not so fantastic Mr Fox rescued after getting head stuck in plastic reel

A young fox was rescued by the RSPCA outside a church in Littlehampton after he got his head wedged in a coil reel.

The fox was found in the church car park at St Catherine’s Catholic Church in Beach Road, Littlehampton on Wednesday 15 July.

Father Carl Davies spotted the poor fox through the kitchen window and contacted the RSPCA for help.

He said: “He said: “At first I thought it must be a dead dog but then I saw the poor thing was alive and had a cable tunnel stuck on his head and he was in a lot of distress, struggling to get it off. It was a terrible thing to see an animal suffer like that.”

Deputy Chief Inspector Charlotte Baumann attended to try and help the poor fox who had his whole head stuck inside the middle of a large reel.

Charlotte said: “He was only a young fox and was well and truly wedged inside a wire coil reel holder which was discarded in the car park. We don’t know how long he had been stuck like that, but the poor thing must have been very stressed out. I had to take him, with the holder attached, to a nearby vets where he could be sedated and gently removed from the plastic reel.

“After staying overnight at the vets, he was then released back into the wild by the veterinary staff at Fitzalan House Vets near to where he was found. Hopefully he won’t be getting into any more trouble now!”

Father Davies added: “I’m so delighted I was able to help the fox and that he has been released. Sadly, a lot of people throw rubbish over into the backyard of the church so I don’t know where the reel came from. It’s so irresponsible when people litter as it can hurt both animals and humans alike!”

Since the start of lockdown, the RSPCA has rescued more than 6,000 wild animals including trapped or injured foxes.

Charlotte added: “We’d advise anyone who spots a sick, injured or trapped fox – or any other wild animals in need of help – to contact our emergency hotline on 0300 1234 999.

“And we’d urge people to ensure they dispose of rubbish and discarded items responsibly so that wild animals can’t come across them and become injured or trapped. Sadly, we deal with around 5,000 incidents every year in which animals have been trapped, hurt or killed due to litter.”

For more advice on what to do if you find a wild animal in need of help, please visit the RSPCA’s website: www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife.