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Firefighter spent 'hours upside down' to free trapped fox in Guildford

3 minute read
Firefighter spent 'hours upside down' to free trapped fox in Guildford

Published at 4:20pm 7th November 2018. (Updated at 4:50pm 7th November 2018)

A firefighter spent almost two hours suspended upside down to rescue a fox which had become stuck in a drain in Guildford.

After several failed attempts to extract the fox, the fireman was held by his colleagues and hung inside the pipe while he gradually chipped away at the concrete around the animal to free it.

fox rescue
The fireman chipped away at the concrete to free the fox

Despite being taken to the Wildlife Aid Foundation’s Leatherhead centre and responding well ahead of being released, it later died following complications.

fox rescue
The fox was discovered when a homeowner emptied a bucket of water into the drain and heard a whimper.

Wildlife Aid Foundation CEO and Eagle Radio Local Hero, Simon Cowell, described the rescue on Saturday (3 November) as the most dramatic he had witnessed in almost 40 years of rescuing wildlife.

Mr Cowell said:

“The fox had got itself wedged in so tightly in such a contorted position that we feared the only humane thing to do would be to put it to sleep. But the fire and rescue crew were so determined they refused to give up.

“Everyone worked as a team to get the animal out, even the homeowner helped, but the firefighter in charge was an absolute hero and hung upside down in the drain cutting through concrete to save the animal. He deserves an award for what he did.

“The fox was a large adult male. It had obviously got into the drain system somewhere and could have wandered for miles until it got itself into such a narrow pipe it couldn’t move.”

It was only discovered when a homeowner emptied a bucket of water into a drain on the street outside his house and heard a whimper.

The Wildlife Aid Foundation confirmed that the fox developed complications earlier in the week and despite rallying well after the rescue and being prepared for release, it subsequently died.

fox rescue
The firefighter managed to rescue the fox but it unfortunately died later due to complications.


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