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Fox put me in hospital says Maidstone man

Robert Lowthian
Robert Lowthian

A homeless man needed hospital treatment after he was bitten by an injured fox he tried to rescue.

Robert Lowthian, 50, spotted the animal near the high-level bridge in Fairmeadow, Maidstone. It appeared to have been hit by a car and Mr Lowthian went to move it from the middle of the road to prevent further injury.

As he grabbed its tail, the wounded animal swung round and sunk its teeth into his left hand, slicing it to the bone.

Mr Lowthian said: "It was growling and wouldn’t let go, so I literally had to fight it off.

"There was blood everywhere and it must’ve taken at least three or four minutes to shake him off. I didn’t feel any pain at the time because adrenaline kicked in. I was only trying to help."

Having finally seen off the fox and with blood pouring from his wound, Mr Lowthian called an ambulance and was taken to Maidstone Hospital, where he stayed overnight.

He needed 10 stitches and was given a tetanus injection and three types of antibiotics to ward off infection.

"Nurses said they’d never treated someone for a fox bite that size before," he said.

Although it has been almost three weeks since the attack, the former Royal Mechanical Engineer has only just regained the use of his thumb. After reading reports last week about the capture of a giant fox in Maidstone, Mr Lowthian wants to warn people against approaching foxes of any size.

He said: "This was a normal-sized fox and where I sleep on the river I see them all the time and they’ve never been any bother.

"But when they’re injured they play dead, and lash out at anyone or anything that comes near it.

"My advice to people is don’t go near – walk away or report it to someone who knows what they’re doing."

Sue Royal, of the RSPCA, said: "The fox in this case was probably in pain and reacted aggressively when a well intentioned passer-by tried to help."

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