'Sickening and appalling': Cops hunt London gang capturing and torturing foxes by setting them on fire

3 March 2023, 16:23

The group has been torturing captured foxes
The group has been torturing captured foxes. Picture: Alamy/Google Maps

By Will Taylor

Detectives are trying to track down a gang of men who are catching and torturing foxes – and even setting them on fire.

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The four men smoke them out of their dens and set their dogs on them.

They were seen in woods near Kestrel Avenue and Linton Gardens by a member of the public early on February 27, who thought they heard a human screaming.

But when they looked, they saw a group of men pouring suspected lighter fluid over a fox and setting it on fire with a lighter.

The fox fled but it was badly burned. It is unknown how injured it was or if it even survived.

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A police investigation has found the group regularly travels to the area early in the morning to capture and torture foxes.

They have sometimes started fires to smoke the animals out of their dens, and have set dogs on them.

They are described as four black men who are aged between 18 and 20.

The group was spotted in woodland in East London
The group was spotted in woodland in East London. Picture: Google Maps

Wildlife crime officer Detective Constable James Mahoney said: "I am truly shocked and sickened by these appalling, cruel incidents and I would appeal to anyone with information to come forward so we can catch those responsible and prevent any more foxes from being hurt.

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"If you live in the area, please check any doorbell, dash cam or CCTV footage in case you’ve captured these heinous crimes or a group of males matching the description loitering around.

"It is also possible that the group are not just targeting foxes in the Kestrel Avenue area, and so I'd urge the people of Newham to remain vigilant and report any information to us or Crimestoppers anonymously."

Call 101 or tweet @MetCC quoting CAD 2533/27FEB or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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