Fox attacks boy, 5, as he sleeps in bed in South Hackney
Another youngster has been attacked by a fox while asleep in bed, in an incident that recalls the mauling of two babies in their cots last year.
The latest attack happened just a few streets away from the south Hackney home in Lauriston Road where, last June, nine-month-old twins Lola and Isabella Koupparis were attacked.
It has sparked renewed calls for action to control the growing menace of roaming foxes.
In the most recent attack, five-year-old Marius Rook awoke screaming last week as a fox was about to sink its teeth into his head.
The animal had crept into the third-floor bedroom of the house in Victoria Park Road in the early hours after burglars forced open a window and stole thousand pounds worth of valuables.
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His mother Annette Rook, 46, a headteacher, rushed to this room to find him crying and complaining about a pain in his ear.
“I was hugging him. I thought he had had a bad dream. But then the fox started across the bedroom.”
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Police officers used a noose to drag the animal from the family’s house in Victoria Park Road – only to release it into their garden.
“It is very scary to think what it was trying to do,” said Annette.
“I believe officers should have destroyed it. If it had been a dangerous dog trying to bite a child, surely it would have been destroyed.
“Now I am concerned that this fox will come back again.”
A police spokesman said officers had received no report of an attack and that “other options” would have been considered if they had – though Annette maintains she made the danger clear.
This week, Hackney Council said that culling the animals was not a solution, adding that the fox population was not growing.
Cllr Feryal Demirci, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “We understand that this must have been distressing for the family and that some residents are concerned, but all the expert advice we have suggests that incidents involving foxes are incredibly rare.”