Boris Johnson calls for action against 'menace' of urban foxes after one-month-old baby boy has finger torn off

Mother discovered infant's hand lodged "halfway down the animal's throat"

The Mayor Of London, Boris Johnson, has called on London borough leaders to take action to tackle the problem of urban foxes after a one-month-old baby boy had his finger torn off by an animal after being dragged from his cot. 

Johnson, speaking to BBC News this morning, said something more must be done to tackle the issue:  "They may appear cuddly and romantic but foxes are also a pest and a menace, particularly in our cities.", Mr Johnson said, continuing,

"This must serve as a wake-up call to London's borough leaders, who are responsible for pest control.

"They must come together, study the data, try to understand why this is becoming such a problem and act quickly to sort it out."

Mr Johnson also said his thoughts were "with the baby boy and his family".

Police are investigating the attack on the infant, which occure on Wednesday in Bromley, south east London.

Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "We were called at 1638 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 baby was admitted to hospital after the attack at its home address in Bromley.

"Inquiries continue."

According to reports in the Mail on Sunday the mother of the child was alerted to the incident by screaming and on rushing into the child's bedroom discovered the infant's hand lodged "halfway down the animal's throat".

Surgeons have since been able to reattach the child's finger and he was said to be recovering well.

Fox attacks are rare, and Wednesday's incident would appear to be one of the worst.

In June 2010 nine-month-old twins Isabella and Lola Koupparis were savaged by a fox in their cots after it crept into their home in Hackney, east London and later the same month toddler Jake Jermy was taken to hospital after reports he had been attacked by a fox while attending a party at a school in Brighton, East Sussex.

Both cases caused a national outcry and calls for action to be taken.

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."

The issue of foxes attacking humans has divided the public, with many sceptics questioning recent cases amid fears of a backlash against urban foxes.

In April last year wildlife presenter Chris Packham said he simply did not believe reports of people getting attacked by the animals, in an interview with the Radio Times.

The broadcaster, who gave his views on the back of a Channel 4 programme Foxes Live: Wild In The City, said there was no proof that the creatures attack dogs and cats except in "exceptional circumstances".

Packham said that the urbanisation of the fox was "celebrated" in the late 1960s but "now we've seemingly tired of their antics and we're hell-bent on blaming them for all the crimes we can.

"But their only true crime is ... being too successful and that's another thing we Brits just can't stand," he told the magazine.

"Validated assaults of dogs and cats are non-existent, except under exceptional circumstances.

"And as for attacks on humans - I'll be necessarily diplomatic - I don't believe it."

Suggested Topics
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Commercial Litigation NQ+

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE NQ to MID LEVEL - An e...

MANCHESTER - SENIOR COMMERCIAL LITIGATION -

Highly Attractive Pakage: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - A highly attractive oppor...

Senior Marketing Manager - Central London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

Day In a Page

Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?