Fox saved after getting caught in goal net in Cheltenham

The fox was spotted caught in a football net at the University of Gloucestershire
The fox got caught in a football net at the University of Gloucestershire. Credit: RSPCA

A fox had to be rescued from a football goal in Cheltenham after getting entangled in its net.

The young animal was spotted struggling in the net at the University of Gloucestershire’s The Park campus on September 12.

The RSPCA was called and inspector Jon Ratcliffe was able to free the animal unharmed.

He said: "This poor fox was badly entangled with netting around his neck and torso. Thankfully, he was spotted and someone kindly called us to help.

"I was able to carefully cut him free before taking him to Vale Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre to check for potential for pressure necrosis.

"We hope that by sharing this picture of this fox unable to free himself, people will realise how dangerous netting is to wildlife."

The RSPCA received 503 reports of wild mammals getting tangled in netting in 2020 with foxes accounting for just under half (223).

Jon reiterated the danger posed to animals who get caught in tight netting and struggle for prolonged periods of time.

He added: "Every year, we rescue hundreds of animals tangled in netting. Some animals survive, but very sadly many animals suffer fatal injuries, often as a result of struggling to get free.

"To help prevent this from happening - we’re encouraging people to please remove and safely store sports nets after they've been used, and to put any old or discarded nets in the bin. These simple actions could save an animal's life."

To report concerns about an animal, call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999 or visit the RSPCA website for more information.