Warnings issued after four fox cubs found stuck in old car wheels
- Credit: PA
Foxes have been getting stuck in old car wheels across London, leading to warnings from the RSPCA.
The animal welfare charity is urging people to store their old wheels carefully and to check them regularly after four cubs were found trapped in the span of a month.
Foxes stick their heads through the holes in the middle of wheels when they are looking for food – but their ears stop them reversing out, the RSPCA said.
Nick Jonas, an animal rescue officer, was called out to an incident at a garden in Newham on May 5.
Mr Jonas was also then called out to another incident where a cub was stuck in a wheel in a car repair garage in Bethnal Green on May 10.
Mr Jonas said: “Young foxes are incredibly curious and we quite often get called out to deal with ones that have got themselves in a pickle.
“But in my experience, it’s quite unusual to get four 'head stuck in wheel’ incidents in just one month."
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The animal rescue officer says "there's no time to spare" when foxes get stuck.
“They may have been trapped for several days without food or water, so need to be freed as soon as possible," he added.
Both foxes were taken to the South Essex Wildlife Hospital to be rehabilitated before they can be released back into the wild.
Elsewhere, animal welfare officer Lee Rickets worked with the London Fire Brigade to free a fourth cub in Haringey, while another has been rescued from a car wheel in Orpington.
The RSPCA is asking people to be "extra vigilant" if they keep wheels on their premises.
But if anyone finds a wild animal, they are warned not to try and free it.
“Wild animals can scratch, kick and bite when frightened, particularly if they are injured so you could risk hurting yourself and the animal,” the charity said.
“Many animals that become trapped or tangled can be more seriously hurt than you think, so it is best that they are examined properly to see if they need treatment.”
To report concerns about an animal, contact the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999 or visit www.rspca.org.uk