Uproar over fox in village rampage after attack on sleeping man

editorial image

An ‘aggressive’ fox which caused a public uproar when it went on the rampage after biting a man’s ear is now undergoing health checks.

The fox was rounded up in Storrington after a two-night hunt following the attack in which the man’s ear was almost entirely bitten off.

The police, RSPCA and Storrington and Sullington Parish Council were alerted after more reports were made of the fox attacking people in the village.

The parish council called on the National Fox Welfare Society for help and issued a public appeal not to approach any foxes or feed them.

Meanwhile, following the two-night hunt, officials from the fox welfare society and villagers finally managed to round up the animal.

A woman who helped to track it down - who has asked not to be named - first sounded the alarm after her 24-year-old son fell asleep on a bench at the village’s mill pond after he had been drinking.

“A couple of young lads heard my son screaming and saw the fox attacking him.

“They tried to get the fox off him and the fox went for them.”

She said her son had a drink problem and was in and out of consciousness during the attack. “The fox had eaten most of his ear,” she said.

Ironically, she feels the fox may have saved her son’s life because he was unconscious in sub-zero temperatures.

After the initial attack, other residents reported sightings of the animal around Waitrose, the library and the village memorial pond.

There followed reports of an attack on a girl, on a Tesco delivery driver and on walkers in the area.

“The fox just kept going for people all over the place,” said the woman who helped to finally catch the animal.

“Eventually, he just walked into the cage and curled up. It was completely disorientated.”

She said she thought the animal might be suffering from toxoplasmosis. “It couldn’t hunt for itself. It wasn’t chasing people to attack, it was just desperate for food.”

The National Fox Welfare Society, which dubbed the fox ‘John Lewis’, said the animal was to undergo further health checks.