A fox that had been trapped on an overturned boat on the River Thames was released back into the wild after it was rescued by the London Fire Brigade and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on October 17, the RSPCA said.
Members of the public had seen the fox trapped in Saint Saviour’s Dock, Southwark, on a muddy bank. The fox had been cornered by the river and the incoming tide, RSPCA inspector Rebecca Phillips said in a press release by the animal welfare group.
As the water rose, the animal sought safety on the hull of the small rowboat.
“He climbed onto the hull of the boat to escape the water. Firefighters managed to hook the rope for the boat, and carefully pulled it over to a scaffolding platform, crossing the river underneath a bridge so we could try to catch him,” Phillips said.
According to the same press release, as rescuers prepared their equipment and assessed the best way to catch the fox, the frightened critter slipped off the boat and into the water.
Phillips said that she looked “frantically” for a minute and heard scratching underneath her feet, before spotting the fox, who had jumped onto a scaffolding pole below.
“I managed to loop my grasper around his body to secure him and get a hand onto his rear end to pull him up onto the platform,” she said. “We’d attracted quite a crowd, so it’s great that they were able to see him being saved and that we got a lovely, happy ending.”
The fox was fed and dried off, before he was brought to a safe place and released back into the wild. Credit: RSPCA via Storyful