London police investigate fox attack on babySunday 10 February 2013 21.53
Police in London are investigating a fox attack on a one-month-old baby boy, who had his finger torn off by the animal after being dragged from his cot.
The animal seriously injured the infant after entering his bedroom in Bromley, south east London, according to reports.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "We were called at 16:38 on Wednesday 6 February by staff at St Thomas's Hospital to reports a baby boy who had been admitted to hospital after being attacked by a fox.
"Police attended to find a four-week-old baby with a hand injury.
The child's mother was alerted by his screaming and rushed into his room to see his hand lodged "halfway down the animal's throat", according to newspaper reports.
Surgeons were able to reattach the baby's finger and he was said to be recovering well.
London Mayor Boris Johnson said more must be done 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 said.
"They must come together, study the data, try to understand why this is becoming such a problem and act quickly to sort it out."
An RSPCA spokeswoman said the only reason a fox would attack is due to fear.
She said: "It's extremely unusual for foxes to attack young children or anyone.
"It's not typical fox behaviour at all. Foxes will come closer to a house if there are food sources. Then they can become quite bold, but they usually do back off and run away when there's people around."