A young fox got into a difficult spot after she got stuck head-first in an old campervan tyre in Hounslow, London.
The RSPCA was called on Sunday morning (6 September) after a member of the public came across the wild mammal, thought to be one of this year’s cubs and around seven months-old, in his back garden in Wellington Road South.
The female fox had got her head completely jammed inside the metal part in the middle of an old wheel which had been left there. The member of the public tried to reach and free her, but couldn’t, so called the RSPCA.
RSPCA inspector Lauren Evans said: “This young fox was found head-first and stuck in the middle of this old wheel – there is no way she would have been able to get free without help.
“We don’t know how she came to be so firmly trapped, but the vet found blood and puncture wounds on her rear, injuries consistent with a dog attack, so it is possible she had been chased and was trying to escape when it happened.
“We don’t know how long she had been like this, or indeed if she had been attacked whilst in this predicament, but it seems likely it was at least since the night before as she was clearly tired from having struggled to free herself for some time. The wheel was hidden in at the bottom of a woody area of their garden, which would not be easily seen in the dark.
“This poor fox’s face was so swollen we really struggled to get her out of the space she was jammed in, even after trying lubricants such as olive oil and washing up liquid. In the end we carried her to my van to be transported to the vets with the wheel still around her. There she could be sedated and removed from it.
“This young fox is likely to have starved to death if this thoughtful member of the public had not called us and then done all he could to help me rescue her.”
Fortunately, the vets were able to treat the fox for her injuries and she is now making a good recovery. It is hoped she will be able to be released back to the wild soon.
Inspector Evans added: “This case is a reminder to people about how dangerous it can be to leave discarded items lying around like this.
“They may seem harmless, but old tyres and other litter can be a real death trap for wildlife like this fox, who had a lucky escape this time.”