Rescue mission as fox gets tangled in football net

fox trapped

The RSPCA came to the rescue for a poor fox trapped in a football net in Lowestoft. - Credit: RSPCA

Norwich City fans of a certain vintage have fond memories of a cunning Fox called Ruel hitting the back of the net.

But when this fox made the net bulge, it sparked a rescue mission, not a terrace celebration.

ruel fox

Ruel Fox celebrates after scoring for the Canaries. - Credit: Archant

The RSPCA was called to a home address in Carlton Colville, Lowestoft on Thursday, July 29 because the poor fox was found trapped in the back of the net.

Inspector Jason Finch, managed to quickly release the fox - who was not injured and ran off very quickly.

fox football net

A fox was discovered trapped in a football net in Lowestoft. - Credit: RSPCA

Mr Finch said: “We are grateful to the home owner for reporting this to us.”

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With the RSPCA taking 1,139 calls about animals entangled in sports, garden and deterrence netting to the end of June numbers have already overtaken 2020’s 1,127 calls for the same period. 

In just three weeks in June this year, the animal charity had already received at least 30 netting entanglement reports, 20 of which related to foxes or fox cubs and the remainder being other species such as hedgehogs, deer, rabbits and birds such as gulls and crows. 

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RSPCA Scientific Officer Evie Button said:  “The RSPCA receives hundreds of calls every year to rescue animals - often wildlife - who have become tangled in netting on sporting equipment or garden nets.

“Already this year, the number of call-outs to rescue animals caught up in nets are up on 2020 and in the past couple of months, we have had a spate of young foxes in particular becoming entangled.

“Getting tangled up in netting is very stressful for an animal, particularly one that’s wild. And if the animal gets seriously entangled, netting - whether it’s used for sports, fencing or the garden -  can cause severe injuries or even death.”

Of the 503 incidents reported to the RSPCA about wild mammals tangled in netting in 2020, 223 were related to foxes, 155 were hedgehogs and 104 deer.

To report concerns about an animal, call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999 or visit the website

Please do not try to free the animal from the netting yourself, as animals can have serious injuries if they become tightly entangled, so it’s best that they are examined to check if they need veterinary treatment before being released.

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