Upset and concern has been expressed after a young fox was caught in an ‘illegal snare’ at an allotment.
Police have confirmed that officers were called at around 8.55am on Monday, September 26, to Sandringham Way, Bognor Regis, and that ‘enquiries are continuing’.
A spokesperson for the town council, which runs the allotments, said the matter is being taken ‘very seriously’ and it ‘condemns this action’.
They added: “The council has written to all allotment holders advising them that the matter has been referred to the police and reminded that it is illegal to set a trap that may snare a domestic animal such as a cat.
“Allotment holders will also be reminded of the terms of their tenancy and that any breach of these terms may result in eviction from their plot.”
The council stated that anyone with information as to the identity of the snare setter is being asked to come forward.
A resident, who asked not to be named, said being involved in the rescue and witnessing the incident was ‘very upsetting’.
He said: “It was a young fox with the trap around its neck and it couldn’t move, it tried to struggle when it saw someone coming closer.”
At this point Simon Wild, from West Sussex Wildlife Protection, was called to help.
“Simon had to lay on his stomach to catch the ruff of the fox’s neck.
“We managed to cut the wire and Simon was trying to get him through the fence but he broke free and ran off – it was obvious he was hurt. It was very upsetting.”
The resident added, while it was the first snare incident he was aware of at the allotments, that it was the first fox death.
“Not so long ago one was found surrounded by sandwiches like it had been poisoned.”
Concerns have been raised that the incident, which reportedly resulted in a crowd of onlookers, could have had other serious consequences.
The resident said: “My wife is beside herself as we have cats and now we are worried about letting them out.
“Plus we have children who play in the allotments and it could have been one of them who got caught. It doesn’t bear thinking about.”
Anyone with information is asked to email email@example.com.