Northern Ireland

The mother of twin girls attacked by a fox is from NI

The house in Homerton
Image caption The twins were sleeping in a room upstairs at their home in east London

A nine-month-old twin, attacked by a fox in London, has been transferred to a specialist hospital for treatment.

The children's mother, Pauline Koupparis, who comes from County Down, has described the attack on her two babies as a "living nightmare".

Lola and Isabella Koupparis were attacked as they slept in their cots at about 2200 BST on Saturday.

It's understood the fox entered the house through an open door before attacking the twins upstairs.

Both girls suffered arm injuries and one is thought to have facial injuries.

The twins were taken to the Royal London Hospital, in east London, but one of them was later transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital in central London, for further treatment.

Both are said to remain in a "serious but stable condition".

The girls' mother, Pauline Koupparis, said: "It's a living nightmare.

"It's something I would never have expected to happen - let alone to us and my beautiful girls."

'Horror movie'

Mrs Koupparis said she heard a noise, described as "a funny cry, not a normal cry", coming from the room where the twins were sleeping.

She added: "It was quite muffled but very pained. I went into the room and I saw some blood in Isabella's cot, I thought she had a nosebleed.

"I put on the light, I saw the fox, it just looked at me and it wasn't even scared of me.

"I started screaming as I realised Lola was also covered in blood."

It is thought the fox may have entered through a door which had been left open because of the warm weather.

The girls' parents, Nick and Pauline, were reportedly watching television at the time.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Officers and the London Ambulance Service attended and found two nine-month-old girls with injuries.

"Both babies were taken to an east London hospital where their condition is described as serious but stable."

The girls' mother said Lola "looks dreadful. One side of her face is beautiful. The other side is like something from a horror movie".

But she said she was "laughing and smiling at people".

"Isabella is in special care, she's not faring as well," she added.

The twins' four-year-old brother who was also sleeping upstairs, was not hurt.

Pest controllers have since set fox traps in the back garden of the house.

A fox discovered in one of the devices on Sunday night has been destroyed by a vet.

'Humanely killed'

The police spokesman said: "Hackney environmental health officers arranged for traps to be set in the rear garden of the address.

"(On Sunday night) a neighbour informed environmental health officers that an animal could be heard in one of the traps.

"A vet was called to establish if it was safe to move the animal. It was determined it was not and the fox was humanely killed by the pest controller at approximately 12.15am.

"The traps will remain in situ for the time being."

John Bryant, a pest control consultant who specialises in foxes, said the attack did not sound like typical fox behaviour.

He said: "They will walk into houses, walk round, mess on the bathroom floor and sometimes sleep on the bed if people are not around.

"I see no reason why [it would attack] unless it jumped into the cot and then found itself with squirming children underneath it and couldn't get out.

"It just doesn't make any sense to me."

In 2002, mother Sue Eastwood reported that her baby boy, Louis, was injured when a fox crept into their house in Kent while she slept.

The fourteen-week-old suffered bite marks on his head after the animal darted into the sitting room of the house in Dartford.