Denny Dolan 'recovering well' after fox attack

media captionfox

A four-week-old baby boy is "recovering well" after being attacked by a fox in his south-east London home, hospital staff said.

Denny Dolan was treated for a hand and facial injuries after the attack on 6 February in Downham.

A spokeswoman for the Evelina Children's Hospital also said he had been moved from its high dependency unit into a ward.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has called for more to be done about urban foxes.

Police have said their inquiries into the incident are continuing.

The BBC's John Andrew said: "The mother was at home and heard this awful scream, went next door where the baby was, found it had been dragged from the cot onto the floor and the baby's hand was in the jaws of the fox.

image captionIt is believed Denny Dolan's finger was severed in the attack

"She was obviously in a terrible panic and did what she could to get the fox off, including kicking it. Eventually it did let go but the baby was found with quite serious injuries."

Our correspondent said it was believed one of the baby's fingers was severed but later re-attached by surgeons in a "delicate and difficult" three-hour operation, although this has not been confirmed by the hospital.

Mr Johnson said: "This sort of attack, though terrible, is rare, but we must do more to tackle the growing problem of urban foxes."

He also said foxes "may appear cuddly and romantic but foxes are also a pest and a menace, particularly in our cities."

"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 has previously urged councils to take action over foxes following an attack in 2010 in which two baby sisters were mauled while sleeping at their home in Hackney, east London.

media captionWildlife presenter Chris Packham: "Knee-jerk reaction to foxes is embarrassing"

Both had to undergo surgery and were left scarred by the attack. Isabella Koupparis suffered arm injuries while her twin Lola suffered injuries to both her face and arm.

An RSPCA spokeswoman also said it was extremely unusual for foxes to attack people, and that the animal would only do so if it was afraid.

London Wildlife Trust echoed the RSPCA's view that foxes rarely attack people and said any cull would be "extremely controversial, complex and expensive to implement".

It said people should change their behaviour and not feed them and that food waste needed to be put in secure bins, beyond foxes' reach.

The fox attack took place in Downham, about three miles north of Bromley in the borough of Lewisham.

A Lewisham Council spokesperson said: "Local authorities and animal welfare organisations have been advising residents on ways to make their homes and back gardens less attractive to foxes.

"These can include repellents and making sure that waste food is always disposed of in secure, lidded bins and containers.

"Residents should always be careful when leaving doors and windows open. We must all do this together for it to be effective in discouraging foxes from our neighbourhoods."

More on this story

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.