RCPSA warning after fox trapped in gardening netting


The RSPCA has issued a warning to gardeners after a fox became trapped and tangled in common garden netting. The female fox was rescued from a garden in Yeovil, where she had become caught in protective nets.

RSPCA Animal Rescue Officer Alison Sparkes cut the lively vixen and brought her to the charity's specialist rehabilitation centre to be checked out. Ms Sparkes said she had gotten herself twisted up in the netting and every time she struggled, she became more and more wrapped up.

The creature was taken to RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre and safely released back near where she was found two days later. Ms Sparkes said: “She’d become twisted in the netting and was unable to free herself. The more she struggled to get herself free, the more trapped she’d become.

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She went on: "She was very lively so extra care was taken not to hurt her, or get injured. After checking for signs of dependent cubs, I took her to RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre. She was released back near where she was found two days later."

Netting is commonly used by gardeners to prevent hungry birds and critters from feasting on their crops, but it can have tragic consequences for local wildlife. In 2020, shocking footage was captured of a deer struggling for freedom after becoming trapped in a garden in Sherborne and a woodpecker was found dead in a Devon garden, entangled in netting.

Animal rescuer and RSPCA Inspector Marije Zwager told DevonLive at the time that netting can be "potentially lethal to wild animals and birds".

"They can end up with life-threatening injuries by getting their legs, wings or beaks tangled in the netting or, if not spotted by anyone who can help free them, they can eventually starve to death."

The RSPCA has reminded gardeners about the dangers of some netting after a fox was found struggling for freedom in a Yeovil garden
The RSPCA has reminded gardeners about the dangers of some netting after a fox was found struggling for freedom in a Yeovil garden -Credit:RSPCA

Ms Sparkes added: "We hope that seeing how distressed this fox was reminds people that netted fencing and netting used for gardening or in sport can be really dangerous for animals.

"We would urge those using netting for sports to remove and store all nets after their game and put any discarded or old netting safely in a bin. Any garden netting, such as pond netting, should be replaced with solid metal mesh.”