A gang of thugs shot dead a vixen then viciously kicked her baby cub before being stopped by a passing fisherman
A gang of vile thugs shot dead a vixen then set about killing her defenceless cub by kicking it as it lay cowering just inches from her dead mother.
The poor animal was only saved when a hero fisherman risked his own life to intervene and was assaulted himself.
The Good Samaritan came to blows with the brutes as they carried out the brutal attack on the defenceless baby after shooting her mum on a pitch-black country lane.
The brave wildlife-lover snatched the tiny fox to safety in the nick of time – and she’s now making a strong recovery at a local animal sanctuary.
John Garner, of Foxy Lodge Wildlife Rescue Centre at Hemsby, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, hailed the courage of the night angler saved the cub.
“He was either very brave or very foolish,” he said.
“I’m not sure I would have stopped in the middle of the night.
“There was a bit of a scuffle and they exchanged punches but he was determined to get the cub.”
He added: “If that was someone’s puppy everyone would be going mad.
“It is, however, a very good outcome.
“The little cub is a tiny, beautiful little baby.
“This bloke deserves a medal.”
The incident happened in the early hours of Sunday near Framlingham, Suffolk.
The rescuer was driving home from night fishing when he spotted a commotion next to a ‘lamping’ truck – a vicious method of hunting animals at night using a bright light.
The lifelong countryman, who didn’t want to be named, said he was familiar with the practice but was alarmed at what was going on.
The hero blasted: “If you have to kill then do it humanely.
“I decided to ask them what they were doing.
“We got into a dispute over the way he was going about his business and I was informed I was interfering and should go away.
“The fox was very distressed.
“You cannot look into the eyes of something like that and kick it to death.”
The have-a-go-hero then grabbed the cub, took her home and wrapped her in a duvet with a teddy bear and hoped for the best.
He alerted Foxy Lodge hours later and handed the cub into their care to be treated for suspected internal injuries.
“It’s been said I’m the hero of the hour, but I just do not see any need for that level of cruelty.”