Fox cub found in Hastings with head stuck in plastic bottle
A fox cub has been rescued and released back to the wild after being found with its head stuck in a plastic bottle in Hastings.
The RSPCA was called to Hardwicke Road, Hastings, on Saturday (May 8) after a member of the public spotted the distressed animal.
RSPCA Inspector Georgina Bowles attended after the fox cub had been contained in a pet carrier in a garden. The officer managed to gently remove the plastic bottle from the fox’s head.
One the fox cub was released, it was reunited with the mother fox which was waiting nearby.
Georgina said: “This poor fox had got his head well and truly stuck inside an old plastic drinking bottle. What usually happens is an animal may have put their head inside the bottle and their ears go down and lay flat against their head but once their ears spring back up they get stuck and are unable to remove the bottle themselves. I had to slowly massage the skin around the neck and gently tease out the fur a bit at a time until I could find the ears and could carefully fold them down so that the bottle can then slide off the fox’s head.
“Sadly, we do see incidents of wildlife caught up in litter and it’s a stark reminder that everyone needs to help protect animals by picking up any litter they see lying around as well as ensuring they take their litter home with them or disposing of it properly and responsibly.”
Last year, the RSPCA received nearly 4,000 calls relating to animals affected by litter with 133 in East Sussex alone.
Head of the RSPCA’s wildlife department Adam Grogan said: “Our staff deal with thousands of incidents every year where animals have been impacted by litter - and they’re the ones that we know of. I’m sure for every animal we’re able to help there are many that go unseen, unreported and may even lose their lives.
“Animals who get their heads or necks stuck in litter can suffer severe injuries as they struggle to break free and can even suffocate, while others will slowly grow weaker and weaker as they try to hunt or find food or water.
“Sadly, litter is one of the biggest hazards our wildlife faces today and the pandemic has just added to the problem with many disposable masks being discarded on the ground which is why we urge people to dispose of all their litter properly.”