RSCPA rescue mission to save fox from manhole

A team of RSPCA animal rescuers worked together to free a fox cub stuck down a manhole in Birmingham.

RSPCA animal collection officers Cara Gibbon and Vic Hurr, and inspector Nichola Geraghty went to a hostel in Grange Road, Birmingham on Monday 27 April after locals heard a fox crying.

Vic said: “There were two open manholes side by side in the back garden, with a wall between and piping ripping through. The young fox was stuck at the bottom of the manholes, around 7ft down, having clearly fallen into the drainage system after the manhole covers were lifted to clear a blockage.

“He was clearly very distressed, and locals could hear him barking and crying. But whenever we tried to catch him, he would run into the pipes and out of sight.”

The officers called the local fire and rescue service for help. Vic added: “We set a fox trap and lowered it down into the manhole on a rope. We returned the following morning, but he hadn’t been caught in the trap.

“We managed to locate the fox backed into a narrow pipe leading out of the drainage area here he’d dropped down into a junction area and out of reach. We called emergency drainage and plumbing firm, DynoRod, for help and we pushed a camera into the drain to locate the fox before using rods to carefully push him out.

“The cub was very wet and cold. His mum hadn’t been seen in the area for some time, so we decided to take him to a local wildlife hospital for care until he’s old enough to be released. I’d like to say a huge thank you to the fire service, DynoRad worker Chris, and locals who all helped to ensure were could free this poor fox; and Vale Wildlife Hospital for taking him in.

“He’s since had a bath and been released out into an enclosure with a group of juvenile foxes. When they’re big enough they’ll be released back to the wild.”

For more information on wat the RSPCA are doing during the Covid-19 crisis and how you can help to support their work, visit www.rspca.org/uk/covid.