The RSPCA is urging people to put sports netting away this summer after a fox had to be rescued when he got tangled up in Birmingham.
RSPCA inspector Boris Lasserre rescued the cub from some football netting in a garden in Highfield Road, in Hall Green, yesterday (29 June) morning.
The cub had got his two front paws tangled in the netting, leaving him with only his two back paws on the ground. The netting had also gone round his neck, slowly suffocating him.
Inspector Lasserre said: “This is a year-round problem, however we do tend to find that we deal with more incidents like this during and shortly after special football events, such as Euro 2016.
“If you have a football net and you leave it out all the time, unsupervised, then an animal could get itself tangled up in it. This can cause horrible – and sometimes fatal – injuries.”
Despite getting the netting tangled around his neck and body, the fox which Inspector Lasserre rescued was thankfully uninjured and was able to be released back into the wild.
“Netting such as goal nets pose a real hazard to our wildlife and sadly many wild animals get trapped in them. To prevent this from happening, we encourage people to remove the nets after use and store them safely away,” said Inspector Lasserre.
“Sadly, over the years we have had to remove far too many animals from sports netting, including birds, hedgehogs, foxes and even cats. As some of these animals are generally nocturnal, they have normally been trapped and struggling all night and so by the time they are found in the morning, they can have very serious injuries and often need veterinary attention to sedate them and remove all the netting.
“So please help us to help keep wildlife safe by putting away your sports nets when you have finished playing. It only takes a few minutes and it could save an animal from suffering, like this poor fox cub did.”
Other forms of garden netting, like pond or fruit netting, can be a real hazard to wild animals like hedgehogs and the RSPCA recommends replacing these with solid metal mesh.
The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3. (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message.)