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Fox rescued after being caught in a goalie's net

Wildlife rescuer tackles netting to rescue fox Credit: WRAS

Wildlife rescue workers are calling for sports clubs to put away their netting when not in use, after another callout to rescue an animal caught in a football net in Eastbourne. The animal was twisting itself around trying to get free - instead, only further entangling its neck.

The team from the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) responded to an emergency call at 8am on Sunday morning by a passer-by with their son.

“When we arrived on site, we could see the fox straight away, and it was well and truly entangled. Luckily it was not able to move far, as it was easier than I was expecting to secure it”

“I was able to cover the fox’s head and cut the netting to stop it pulling on the fox’s neck. At one point the fox appeared to stop breathing but luckily I was able to respond quickly enough and encourage it to breathe again.”

“It was clear the fox had been caught for some time. This is one lucky fox not to have been attacked by a passing dog.”

– Chris Riddington, WRAS Duty Rescue Co-ordinator, Eastbourne

“We would advise people to cable tie off the ground netting or to even remove the netting completely when not in use. Even by raising netting just 12 inches off the ground is enough to stop most casualties except deer. If deer regularly visit sports fields we would advise netting is removed completely when not in use”

– Trevor Weeks MBE, WRAS founder

In this case the rescued fox is responding well to emergency treatment at the WRAS’s Casualty Centre at Whitesmith.

The WRAS team say they are called to deal with around a dozen wildlife casualties a year. The animals have been caught in netting on sports fields, such as cricket tunnels, football goals and discarded netting left on the sides of sports fields. Hedgehogs, foxes, badgers and deer are some of the animals that have become entangled.