London: A fox has torn a four-week-old baby boy's finger off after dragging him out of his cot in what is believed to be the worst attack of its kind in Britain. The baby was attacked and injured by a fox in his home in Bromley in south-east London on February 6, the Metropolitan Police said.
The child's mother, in the next room, heard a piercing scream then a heavy thud as the four-week-old boy was flung to the floor by the fox. To her horror she saw that the baby's hand was lodged "halfway down the animal's throat". She fought desperately to release him, repeatedly kicking the fox until it eventually let go. Surgeons later reattached the baby's finger in an "extremely difficult" but successful three-hour operation.
"The baby is recovering well," the Daily Mail quoted a source as saying. London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "This sort of attack, though terrible, is rare, but we must do more to tackle the growing problem of urban foxes." "They may appear cuddly and romantic but foxes are also a pest and a menace, particularly in our cities. This must serve as a wake up call to London's borough leaders, who are responsible for pest control," he was quoted as saying by the BBC.
"They must come together, study the data, try to understand why this is becoming such a problem and act quickly to sort it out," Johnson said. Police said their inquiries into the incident were continuing. Johnson has previously urged councils to take action over foxes following an attack in 2010 in which two baby sisters were mauled while sleeping at their home in Hackney, east London.
Both had to undergo surgery and were left scarred by the attack. Isabella Koupparis suffered arm injuries while her twin Lola suffered injuries to both her face and arm. Richard Moseley, from the British Pest Control Association, said attacks by foxes inside a house were "incredibly rare".