A young vixen owes her life to the quick thinking and courage of a Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA) hunt monitor who literally dived in and grabbed her from amongst the hounds of the Old Berkshire Hunt who were just about to maul her to death.
The young woman was out monitoring the Old Berkshire Hunt last Wednesday, 14th November 2012 from a meet at Elmwood House, Black Bourton, Oxfordshire. Not long after the hunt moved off, the huntsman sent the hound pack into woodland and thick undergrowth. Just after 11.30am, the hounds found the fox in scrub next to large slurry tanks on the edge of a farm.
Fortunately for the fox, her “guardian angel” was only feet away. With no thought for her own safety, the monitor shouted at the hounds as they closed in on the fox, and running forward, was able to snatch the terrified animal. She then scooped her up, away from amongst the hounds, which would in moments have undoubtedly torn the young animal to pieces. The fox had already been bowled onto her back, leaving her stomach exposed.
Despite having been bitten by the terrified fox, the monitor hurried the traumatised animal away, cradled in her arms, whilst her colleague, who filmed the whole incident, called for help. Being followed by a hunt participant, they reached a fellow monitor’s car and the fox was then driven away to safety. She was checked for injuries, and thanks to the monitor’s reactions, was found to have no serious bites.
The fox’s rescuer said of her actions, “I just reacted. I couldn’t leave the poor little thing to be torn apart by the dogs. But it was worth all the pain and stress and I would do it all again in a heartbeat. I feel privileged to have been able to rescue her. Words cannot express my contempt for people who terrify and kill defenceless wild animals.”
The fox has now been rehabilitated into an area where she will be safe from the hunt.
The footage clearly shows that when the hounds reach the fox, there is no “quick nip to the back of the neck”, as claimed by hunters, a claim always disputed by post mortem evidence of foxes killed by hounds.
The incident has been reported to the RSPCA.
The Prime Minister’s wife Samantha Cameron has links with the Old Berks Hunt. Her stepfather, Lord Astor, is Chairman of the hunt.