After baby's mauling, London looks for fix of wild fox invasion

London is trying to figure out what to do about wild foxes invading the city after an attack on one-month-old Denny Dolan in his home.

LONDON — One-month-old Denny Dolan was attacked last week when a wild fox somehow snuck into his London home. Dolan suffered severe facial lacerations and required surgery to reattach a severed finger. The attack leaves the city of London facing a difficult problem, because Dolan’s assailant was one of the thousands of foxes that have settled in the city.

Two years ago, a pair of foxes mauled twins Isabella and Lola Koupparis in their bedroom, according to the Telegraph. Last month, a wild fox attacked Clare Laudy, 17, of Epsom, England, while she was jogging, the Guardian reports.

The spate of attacks has intensified demand for a cull of foxes. The once very popular sport of fox hunting has been outlawed in England since Parliament passed the Hunting Act in 2004, though London does have a team of about 100 people licensed to shoot and kill foxes, according to the Guardian.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has waded into the controversy.

“They may appear cuddly and romantic, but foxes are also a pest and a menace,” Johnson said in an interview with BBC News. "This must serve as a wakeup call to London’s borough leaders, who are responsible for pest control.

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“They must come together, study the data, try to understand why this is becoming such a problem and act quickly to sort it out.”

Others aren’t convinced that efforts to curb the fox population, whether through legalizing hunting or some other means, would have their intended effect.

“The problem is members of the public who make foxes too habituated by trying to hand-tame them,” Stephen Harris, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Bristol, told MSN News. “It is a very strange British behavior. They cannot just watch wildlife but they have to interact with it. So this selfish minority creates problems for other people.”

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