Garden football netting a danger to wildlife

THE RSPCA is warning about the dangers of leaving out football nets after releasing an entangled young fox from a Woking garden.

A family found him early last Friday and, after putting out some water, called the RSPCA for help.

IN A TANGLE – A distressed young fox had to be freed by the RSPCA after becoming caught up in goal netting. He was, happily, uninjured and quickly released

RSPCA Inspector Lauren Evans said: “This young fox had got himself well and truly entangled in the old football goal netting. He had trapped his rear end and back legs, and the netting had also become twisted around his stomach.

“He was panicking and very stressed. Wearing protective equipment, I was able to get close enough to gently disentangle him. I gave him a careful check and was happy to see he hadn’t sustained any injuries, so I released him on the spot and he dashed off into the undergrowth.”

The RSPCA said Euro 2020-inspired football fever may be contributing to a rise in the number of animals becoming entangled.

During three weeks last month, the animal charity received some 30 reports of netting entanglements, 20 of them relating to foxes.

“It’s great that the likes of Jack Grealish and Gareth Bale are inspiring many of us to put on our boots this summer and have a kick-around,” Lauren continued. “But we urge those using sports netting to remove and store all nets after their game and put any discarded or old netting safely in a bin.

“Football and other types of netting may be fun for humans but can be very dangerous for wild animals if they are left out overnight. If the animal gets seriously entangled, netting – whether it’s used for sports, fencing or the garden – can cause severe injuries, or even death.”

To report concerns about an animal, call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999, or visit www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/injuredanimals.

Do not try to free the animal as they can suffer serious injuries if they become tightly entangled – they should be examined to check if they need veterinary treatment before being released.

* TO donate to the RSPCA, visit www.rspca.org or call the donation line on 0300 123 8181.

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