The RSPCA rescued a juvenile fox which was caught by his neck and leg in football netting in a garden in Harrow.
It is believed the poor fox had been trapped in the netting for at least three hours when he was rescued by RSPCA Inspector Simon Hoggett in Hazeldene Drive, Pinner, on Tuesday (1 June).
The fox was entangled by his neck and also had his front leg caught in the football goal.
Simon said: “This poor fox was well and truly stuck in the net and had been there for some time. I managed to untangle him and although he didn’t appear to be injured, he was panting quite heavily and was clearly distressed so I took the juvenile fox to a nearby wildlife specialist. Once he’s been checked over, this little fella will be released back to the wild again soon. This incident highlights the importance of removing netting from gardens as it is dangerous for wildlife.”
The RSPCA receives hundreds of calls every year to rescue animals – often wildlife – who have become tangled in netting on sporting equipment or garden nets.
Simon added: “These kinds of incidents are a very stressful situation for an animal, particularly a wild animal, to find themselves in and one which could have been easily avoided. If the animal gets seriously entangled, it can cause severe injuries as well. Many people may not realise that netting used for fencing, gardening or in sporting equipment can actually be really dangerous for animals.
“We would urge those using netting for sports to remove and store all nets after their game and put any discarded or old netting safely in a bin. Any garden netting should be replaced with solid metal mesh or people should use wood panels for fencing instead of netting.”
If you do encounter a wild animal you think needs help, call our emergency line on 0300 1234 999 or visit our website www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/injuredanimals.