An RSPCA officer was called in to help a collapsed fox that turned out to be taxidermy.
Inspector Ellie Burt went to Farm Hill, Exeter in Devon on Monday 8 April after a local resident grew concerned for a fox that had been hiding under a bush in the area.
Inspector Burt said: “The fox was described as lethargic and collapsed in the undergrowth. The caller said it had been losing weight in recent weeks and hadn’t moved for the past few days.
“We asked them to try the broom test – to ensure the fox was still alive – and were told that it didn’t move but tracked them with its eyes and seemed to be breathing well.”
However, Inspector Burt quickly realised that all was not as it seemed: “As soon as I arrived I realised that this wasn’t a live fox – but a dead fox who’d been stuffed by a taxidermist.
“He’d clearly been placed under a bush outside the houses as a prank. After speaking to some of the neighbours, I soon discovered that someone had been moving it around the neighbourhood.”
Inspector Burt sought permission form a local resident and they discarded the stuffed fox to avoid further calls.