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Fox mauled arm of hunt supporter on her birthday 'in revenge' attack

By This is Cornwall  |  Posted: February 02, 2011

  • Deborah Adams

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A HUNT supporter has told of her horror after a fox mauled her arm in what she believes is a "revenge" attack.

Deborah Adams, 46, was left needing plastic surgery and skin grafts after the incident on Sunday last week – her birthday.

Mrs Adams, who took part in the Four Burrow Hunt in St Columb on New Year's Day, was left "shaking and bleeding" following the unprovoked incident in broad daylight.

The housewife and mother of four was driving her Peugeot 206 from her Fraddon home to Mawgan Porth to tend to her horse when the incident happened at around 10am.

She said: "I drove out of Gluvian Farm and saw the fox in the middle of a single track road, which is very bendy.


"I flashed my lights and the fox didn't move, which I thought was strange.

"So I edged closer and it still didn't move.

"I beeped the horn, which I was sure would make the fox run off, but it still stayed there.

"I got out of my car and approached the fox to make sure it was still alive, which it was. But then it leapt at my outstretched arm as I was shooing it away."

The fox clamped onto Mrs Adams's left arm, just below her elbow, and ripped off a chunk of flesh about the width of a two-pence coin and about an inch deep.

"I didn't expect it to bite me," she said, "I was trying to do it no harm and was concerned about its health.

"After it bit me, it ran off. I returned to my car and called my husband Michael. I just wanted to get home but had to drive back."

After seeing his wife in a distressed state, Mr Adams took her to Newquay Hospital at around 10.45am.

Doctors told her she was to return to the hospital every day to have the wound assessed and her dressings changed.

But, two days later, after the wound had not healed, she was referred to the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske, Truro, to see a plastic surgeon and underwent four hours of surgery on Thursday.

She said: "Doctors took away more flesh, which had got infected, and then said I would require a skin graft after I returned to see specialists on Saturday.

"The graft will cover the wound. But it will take months to heal over. The infection has to clear up first.

"Doctors suggested maybe the fox had been struck by a car and was dazed, which is why it was in the road and reacted in the way it did.

"I, however, wonder if it was a fox that recognised me from the hunt I took part in around that area on New Year's Day and was getting revenge."

John Bryant, a pest control specialist who specialises in foxes, said the attack on Mrs Adams seemed out of character for the animals.

"In my 40 years of working with foxes I have never seen one behave in a vicious way, unless it was defending itself," he said.

"The animal was, in my opinion, showing clear signs that it could have been diseased or concussed. And this could explain why it reacted the way it did.

"If a wild animal doesn't behave in the way you would expect it to when you flash your lights, beep your horn, or even approach it – don't get near to it.

"The attack is a freak occurrence."

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  • eyeopener  |  December 18 2012, 2:00PM

    I have just found this article, belatedly.... I haven't had such a good laugh in years. Amongst the gems: "unprovoked incident" isnt that how foxes would describe being hunted? "I, however, wonder if it was a fox that recognised me from the hunt I took part in around that area on New Year's Day and was getting revenge." There he was running for his life and he had time to look round and make a mental note of all the participants? "I was trying to do it no harm and was concerned about its health." As of course any hunt supporter would! No doubt the master and huntsman from the Heythrop Hunt who were fined yesterday at Oxford Magistrates Court for hunting foxes illegally; will be appealing on the grounds that they were only chasing the fox to see that it was ok.

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  • maidamess  |  June 14 2011, 7:12PM

    if you believe that story you will believe anything.

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    Holden Caulfield, Plymouth  |  May 11 2011, 7:52PM

    It's not only the hounds that are barking!

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    Kevin, Plymouth  |  May 05 2011, 7:16AM

    HA HA HA it's just a pity the fox didn't finish the job but thanks herald at least we all now what at least one of these sick and twisted monsters look like. Also as mentioned before hunting with dogs is illegal. She was probably on a hunt then and not inher car as she claims. I HOPE YOU CATCH RABIES YOU SICKO

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    Michael, Plymouth  |  April 11 2011, 8:27AM

    can't stop laughing no sympathy from me she hunted foxes on horseback? why stop her car to check it's welfare? something isn't right with that story and well done to the fox it know's who not to trust and will defend itself maybe now people will realise these animals don't lack capacity only the opposite. They remember a face like most people do LMFAO especially at the reverend's comment hope her kids don't grow up doing the same after they witnessed it hunting down fox's for revenge mind you they'd probably do it for sport anyway they didn't know no different, been working from an early age to stop them from being successful in their hunt and now the hunter becomes the hunted brilliant

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    ILOVEFOXES, REDRUTH  |  April 05 2011, 10:35AM


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    Jo, South West  |  March 17 2011, 8:38AM

    Way to go fox! It would have been even better if the fox and thirty of his friends had mounted horses and chashed a terrified Mrs Addams all over the countryside.Finally cornering her, as she lay shivering and exhausted, before letting dogs rip her to pieces. Then spreading her blood over the faces of their cubs. What a great day out for the huntsfoxes and their supporters that would have been, all back to the pub for a drink and then back home to their dens. What a sport!

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    Sally Parker, Glastonbury  |  February 25 2011, 8:16PM

    Good on the Fox!!

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    Lafrowda, St Just in Penwith  |  February 09 2011, 9:13AM

    I called into question the attitude of those who prefer to hurt humans over animals and had my comment removed. This thread is just so one sided. You print the personal abuse and remove thought provoking comment because it doesn't suit the papers stance on hunting. The anti hunting brigade are evidently far more dangerous toward other human beings.

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    Mel, Staffordshire  |  February 08 2011, 5:38PM

    Not to mention illegal. Last time I looked hunting with dogs was still against the law.