RSPCA: hypothermic fox recovering after being rescued from driftwood floating down the Thames
The RSPCA believe the vixen jumped onto the piece of driftwood while escaping an attacker
A hypothermic fox is now warming up under a heated lamp, after rescuers helped her make a lucky escape from a plank of wood floating down the Thames.
RSPCA officers and the London Fire Brigade managed to catch up to the vixen's makeshift raft before she drifted out to sea. The animal welfare charity believed she had been trying to escape from another animal which had been trying to attack her.
The RSPCA's Mark Hanley, who came to her aid, told SWNS: “Someone on a houseboat called us after spotting the fox stranded on a plank of wood used by workmen to work on the boats.
“When I arrived the tide was in and I wasn’t sure how deep the water was," he continued. "But once the tide went out it was shallow enough for me to go down a ladder and catch her with my grasper.
Mr Hanley said it looked like she had an injury to her back end. "We think something nipped at her and she jumped into the water to escape - and this was the first thing she found to stop herself from drowning.
“She wouldn’t have survived much longer down there, she was very cold," he added. "I took her to the Wildlife Aid Foundation and vets there confirmed she had hypothermia.”
Photos from the charity showed the red fox resting in a box under a heated lamp as she recovered. The RSPCA is no stranger to rescuing urban foxes which have got themselves into scrapes.
Staff also recently rescued another terrified fox after it trashed a café in London's Westbourne Grove. The fox, which eventually fell asleep after its overnight ordeal, caused extensive damage - ripping up chairs as it tried in vain to escape after plunging through a roof hatch.