back to article Rampaging fox terrorises rural sports club, victim sustains ‘tweaked groin’

Shaken members of a Cambridgeshire sports club have recounted a terrifying ordeal at the jaws of a rampaging fox. According to an entertaining BBC report, the victims were confronted by the "vicious" creature as they attempted to leave Alconbury Sports and Social Club last Saturday night. In the ensuing panic, chairman Bruce …

  1. Doctor_Wibble

    Oh dear! But this is countryside life for you.

    The 'hunting conspiracy' thing is clearly bollocks but quite frankly if an animal is pestering and apparently trying to bite people instead of running off then it's either protecting its young (having its den under a sports club? doubtful) or it's gone postal in which case it is liable to be shot just like would be done to a pet dog that had gone nuts.

    Fortunately I live in urbanburbsville so I only have to put up with the godawful noise of foxes dogging and no actual attacks except the disapproving looks from them when I step out for a smoke, which for the record does not involve any groin-tweaking whatsoever.

    Sadface icon because I'm not actually completely heartless.

    1. AMBxx Silver badge

      Re: Oh dear! But this is countryside life for you.

      Problem comes when townies release foxes from a town into the country. They're used to people, so no longer keep out of the way.

      My fox trap is ready and waiting for the next fox that comes near my animals.

      1. Doctor_Wibble

        Re: Oh dear! But this is countryside life for you.

        > They're used to people, so no longer keep out of the way.

        You may be right about where the fox came from, and maybe it's a reaction to having been dumped away from the doner mines of its normal habitat - though from personal experience they just don't care enough about people to notice us unless we have some spare shoes we want to get rid of.

      2. dotdavid

        Re: Oh dear! But this is countryside life for you.

        "Problem comes when townies release foxes from a town into the country. They're used to people, so no longer keep out of the way."

        Also they constantly complain about the lack of entertainment, hence this fox's attendance of the local social club.

    2. AbelSoul

      Re: the godawful noise of foxes dogging

      Better or worse noise than dogs foxxing?

      1. swampdog

        Re: the godawful noise of foxes dogging

        Ask the chicken lobby. After all, they must have had more govt influence.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh FFS... A better headline would be 'Humans reach new lows in cowardice'

      The _only_ potential threat to humans from this fox is rabies, and there's a vacine for that. Any human, in this day and age, who runs away from a fox is a complete and utter coward - all you need to do is grab one of its limbs and fall on it -> squashed fox.

      1. Hud Dunlap

        Re: Oh FFS... A better headline would be 'Humans reach new lows in cowardice'

        I guess you have never had a rabies shot. I know a couple who did. They hurt like hell, multiple shots required and she almost died from an allergic reaction to the shots.

        1. swampdog

          Re: Oh FFS... A better headline would be 'Humans reach new lows in cowardice'

          Don't get bitten

        2. Vincent Ballard

          Re: Oh FFS... A better headline would be 'Humans reach new lows in cowardice'

          I've had a series of rabies shots. They weren't fun, but they weren't nearly as bad as the tetanus shot which left me unable to walk without pain for days and gave me a needle phobia for years. And they're certainly not as bad as actually getting rabies.

        3. Dave Bell

          Re: Oh FFS... A better headline would be 'Humans reach new lows in cowardice'

          Since the BBC report did say somebody had been bitten, that is an angle that needs checking. Did the fox have rabies? And if it did how did it get infected? But the failure to mention that risk is one of the things that can be counted against conspiracy claims. And if the report of somebody being bitten is true, the "think of the children" angle isn't stupid

          There's been some pretty bogus claims about foxes. Most of the pressure to control them seems to come from people who do things like breeding pheasants to be released, bewildered, as targets for a "shooting estate". The biosecurity scares for chicken farming means that physical, essentially passive, security need to be used, and it all stops the foxes.

          When I was in the farming business, there were some people who, frankly, scared me. I've had idiots with guns, out shooting game, walk out of the fog while I have been applying pesticides to a field. They didn't even bother to check whether any work was planned. And many hunts seem to be getting along better without foxes. There are people who enjoy the challenging riding across country, but don't want to kill anything.

          And the sociopaths of this government—how else can you describe some Ministers without vulgarity—have revived the issue. The Countryside March was about a lot of things governments do to mess up rural people, but why have they latched on to the ability to kill foxes as the one they can fix?

          And the ugly reality of wildlife is that local excesses of any species leads to lead to deaths from disease. Remember the urban foxes of Bristol? A wonderful documentary, but then they got thinned out by a disease outbreak.

          1. launcap

            Re: Oh FFS... A better headline would be 'Humans reach new lows in cowardice'

            > Did the fox have rabies?

            Unlikely in the UK. On a par in the unlikeliness scale as a banker having a conscience or a politician having a competence..

          2. Tom 13

            Re: that is an angle that needs checking.

            Yes it is, and it's a glaringly obvious oversight. Of course it's also possible they shot it in the head when they killed it.

            The again Wiki claims Britain is rabies free so maybe not as obvious a question as it is in the US.

      2. Suricou Raven

        Re: Oh FFS... A better headline would be 'Humans reach new lows in cowardice'

        They have pretty vicious teeth. I can't see a fox managing to bite an adult human fatally, but I can easily envision a trip to A&E for some stitches and a bit of a scar.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh FFS... A better headline would be 'Humans reach new lows in cowardice'

        "all you need to do is grab one of its limbs and fall on it -> squashed fox."

        Ah, yes. The small child who was attacked in London a few years ago should have known that.

        Tut, stupid child.. (sarcasm for those who are hard of understanding)

        I'll wager there was A: a Den nearby and that B: there was food. Either in a bin or carelessly discarded.

        Foxes, like humans, will defend their young to the hilt or will protect a food source...

        Like it or not, in 99% of cases like this, vermin, pests etc are there because WE have given them a reason to be there..

    4. swampdog

      Re: Oh dear! But this is countryside life for you.

      No. Bears are okay in the US. We've imported everything else, why not those?

  2. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Why didn't the others escape in the opposite direction when the man on the bike raced off into the field? I'm sure they could have raised a glass to his brave sacrifice at his wake.

    1. AbelSoul

      Re: Why didn't the others escape

      Indeed, it does seem rather silly of them, bordering on implausible.

      In fact, I find myself swithering towards the same conclusion as the "unwashed, malcontented, probable anarchists," insofar as the whole story has bit of a whiff of pish about it.

    2. swampdog


      I hate today's veggies. Combine harvesters, decreasing circles. Bread. Where do they get their vitamins?

  3. Duffy Moon

    Utter Nonsense

    Are these people also terrified of aggressive cats, because they're about as dangerous? Of course, they kept the body of the fox to have examined for the implied rabies.

    On a slightly pedantic note, foxes are not canine, but they are canids.

  4. John G Imrie

    Foxes generaly don't chase people

    Unless they have been corned, have young in the vicinity, or Rabies.

    I suggest that all four people involved should have Rabies shots immediately.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: Foxes generaly don't chase people

      For a moment there I thought you wrote that the four of them should be shot

    2. PNGuinn

      Re: Foxes generaly don't chase people @ J G I

      That's a bloody small tin to squeeze a fox into. How do they manage to chase people after they have been corned? Enquiring minds etc etc...

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Foxes generaly don't chase people @ J G I

        For some reason (possibly his years in the Army), my dad used to refer to corned beef as "corned dog" - which I now do. Is it such a long stretch to "corned fox"?

    3. swampdog

      Re: Foxes generaly don't chase people

      I take exception. They need be hanged.

  5. Johnny Canuck


    Don't know the prevalence of rabies in the UK, but in Canada, a fox behaving in this fashion would be assumed to be rabid, put down and then tested. Anyone bitten would be getting rabies shots as a precaution before the testing was even completed.

    1. edge_e

      Re: Rabies?

      The UK was declared rabies free in 1922.

      Quarantine rules changed in 2012, so it might be possible.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Rabies?

      Even in the UK rabies testing should be automatic regarding bites and out of character behaviour for something like a normally timid fox.

      Of course townies have become steadily wetter as they distance themselves from the natural world so being scared of a fox is hardly a surprise. Now a grumpy old badger? that I would give leeway to!

      Wiating now for Daily Blah stories of deadly sparrows attacking people for crumbs from a sandwich.

      "It looked me right in the eye and tweeted at me!"

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Rabies?

        "It looked me right in the eye and tweeted at me!"


        How did it get access to an iPhone?

        And was Angry Birds installed?

        1. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Rabies?

          Thank you for 'getting' that.

          Some phone companies will do a deal with anyone that drops in to the shop (or flies into the window).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Rabies?

        Nope, even a grumpy old badger can do nothing worse than give you a painful nip, unless you approach it with your 'intimates' on the wrong side of your trousers, in which case it's your own fault.

        Why are people (the most dangerous animal on the planet) being so neutrotic that they're being freaked out by by animals that pose no realistic threat? What is so attractive about being a victim?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Rabies?

          Well Lee,

          Dumper truck reversing. Nothing we could do. Hope that chap lived. I have dashcam.

        2. Chris G Silver badge

          Re: Rabies?

          A late reply but a grumpy old badger is not something to be taken lightly, they can do a lot more than nip, a friends Jack Russel stupidly decided to follow a badger down into it's sett. Jack Russels are pretty fierce and something to be reckoned with in thier own right, this one when we finally got him out of the sett after having to dig into it a bit, need quite a few stitches and a good lie down for a bit. If he had been a drinking dog I would have given him a stiff brandy. The claws on a badger can dig through limestone and chalk.

          There was a large sett in the wood at the top of my fields where I kept my horses in the '90s, we often used to get the local fuzz coming to warn us to keep an eye out for badger baiters ( big gambling money involved and dangerous people), he told me that before the pond scum would allow a dog to fight a badger they would bash it with a shovel to weaken it as a badger could do serious damage to a Staff or a PitBull if it was fully operational.

          1. Triggerfish

            Re: Rabies?

            Having seen the damage done to a car that hit a badger I'm pretty sure if I encountered a annoyed one hitting it with a handy stick would not have much effect.

      3. Zimmer

        Re: Rabies? and Sparrows

        Not the sparrows you should be worried about, but definitely the gulls (not Girls) at Landudno.

        Warning: do not attempt to eat your picnic lunch on the promenade nor your ice cream cone... and if you have been close enough to see the size of these birds then you will understand how they could do you a real nasty...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Rabies? and Sparrows


          You used the wrong first letter of the good township; Ll rather than L.

  6. a cynic writes...

    We've had 'em in the back garden...

    ...which explained why the dog went spare at 2am. Thankfully our chickens are in covered runs or like most people round here we'd have lost them.

    As to "a whiff of pish" given it was a Saturday night I think a whiff of the ale might be nearer the mark.

    1. TitterYeNot

      Re: We've had 'em in the back garden...

      "As to "a whiff of pish" given it was a Saturday night I think a whiff of the ale might be nearer the mark."

      It would indeed seem to be a case of the inedible in pursuit of the inebriated...

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Tweaked' groin?

    Is that like "hackers 'tweaked' OPM"?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So couldn't they find a tennis racket or a hockey stick or something?

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Exactly, it was a sports club after all, there must have been a cricket bat somewhere.

  9. Spaceman Spiff

    We used to have rabbits in our backyard, but then a red fox took up residence. After awhile, no more rabbits, and the fox left for better feeding grounds. FWIW, we live only a few blocks from the Fox River in Illinois... We now know how it got the name!

    1. Tromos

      "We now know how it got the name!"

      Named after the TV channel?

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Can you guess the city?

      @Spaceman Spiff

      I was born at the confluence of the Fox and Illinois river. I've fished and boated on both.

      Love the Calvin reference. Waterson rocks!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this "sports club"

    The type where sporting "gentlemen" in ridiculous costumes with tall hats ride around on horses along with a bunch of dogs and chase foxes to death? If so, I say good on the fox for getting a little revenge!

    1. MOV r0,r0

      Re: Is this "sports club"

      Once we started farming, dogs needed to either be domesticated or dead.

      Being low status, had the fox got into the sports club its best strategy would have been to kill all the humans and scatter result about a bit before a higher status predator was attracted and displaced it from the kill - no one has told the fox's genes that we killed all the wolves.

      Despite not despatching one, that fox changed those people's behaviour. This suggests the neural routing of any species can be changed by a bit of chasing around. It then follows that the men and women (this isn't golf) on horseback are doing a valuable job teaching the nasty little vermin some fear even if they don't ever catch one.

      And townies who think vermin deserves fair play haven't thought that one through, rats have no emetic response so it's hardly fair to poison them is it? Cities - you're never more that ten feet from a Guardian reading idiot.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. CABVolunteer

        Re: Is this "sports club"

        "Once we started farming, dogs needed to either be domesticated or dead."

        No, dogs have *always* been domesticated. The definition of a dog is a domesticated wolf.

        Otherwise you're right - the attitude of farmers has always been: if it isn't domesticated, then exterminate it.

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: Is this "sports club"

          Not necessarily domesticated wolf, Dingos are also candidates for domestication into dogs.

      3. Duffy Moon

        Re: Is this "sports club"

        What *are* you on about? Foxes are not classed as vermin. The mounted morons who think it sporting to chase them with a pack of hounds however...

  11. Old Handle

    Did this fox...

    happen to have fur the color of the starless night and eyes like burning coals?

  12. 404

    Oh Reginald!

    reckon everybody in the West has gotten pretty soft - sucks.


  13. AlbertH

    These "Club Members" are lying

    I know foxes. I have a family of them living in my garden. I've seen five generations of them. They're no problem at all (they're city foxes incidentally) and enjoy the scraps that the neighbourhood willingly provides for them.

    They're very timid - they shy away from humans. The last thing any of them would do - even if cornered - is attack. That's why I call "BS" on the story. The old soaks in the club probably wanted a few extra snorts and didn't want an earbashing from their "better" halves, so claimed to be cornered in their drinking den by a fox......

    Our foxes are not "tame" - they visit gardens and forage for scraps. They dig earths (I have two beneath my shed) and are good parents to their next generation. They tend to have cubs at the end of February, but you don't see them about until June or July.

    City foxes suffer a high rate of attrition (mostly by meeting vehicles the hard way) and seldom live beyond two or three years. They're beautiful animals, cause no nuisance, and should be allowed to get on with their lives. They are certainly NOT vermin!

  14. swampdog

    My mate used to work for a Hunt. He lost his job. All the hounds were killed.

    Me & my mother used to hide the fox.

    1. emmanuel goldstein

      at least one of those statements is deeply disturbing.

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        Yes, very disturbing. It should have been "my mother and I ..."

  15. swampdog

    Police Target Practice

    If it isn't some guy of a negroid persuasion then it's a Rhea. On BBC News it was some dangerous ostrich type bird which the police have wound up, media-wise, so they can shoot the damn thing dead.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Police Target Practice

      Don't forget the highly dangerous cow that required helicopters and the entire Northumbrian armed constabulary ...

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: Police Target Practice

        At least its not Emus

        "If we had a military division with the bullet-carrying capacity of these birds it would face any army in the world...They can face machine guns with the invulnerability of tanks. They are like Zulus whom even dum-dum bullets could not stop."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Police Target Practice

      "If it isn't some guy of a negroid persuasion "

      They tried brazillian electricians but found them thin on the ground

  16. swampdog

    Too many IP failures

    I hate today's veggies. Combine harvesters, decreasing circles. Bread. Where do they get their vitamins?

  17. Nolveys

    The beast was "eventually caught and destroyed"

    The group stood around the corpse of their former tormentor. After being stabbed, electrocuted, burned, frozen, gassed, driven over, lit on fire, crushed, drowned, shot with 17 magnum slugs from a 12 gauge and finally decapitated it seemed that the ordeal was over.

    Dirk Buckner rested the shotgun on his shoulder as returned his jungle knife to its sleeve. Turning to leave he suddenly stopped dead in his tracks as his eyes widened and the blood drained from his face. There before him it stood, with madness in its eyes and saliva dribbling from its lips.

    Dirk screamed his final scream as the aardvark lept into the air, raging and feral.

  18. thx1138v2


    If they had just called a fox whisperer there wouldn't have been any problem. Jeeze.

  19. Madmanwithabox


    Isn't that rural, used to be an RAF base - it's also right next to this place:

    Plenty of protests against animal testing there, maybe it was a fox that had escaped.

    Surprised the proximity wasn't mentioned in the article.

  20. BongoJoe


    Surely this is was all nothing more than an unscreened episode of Brittas Empire.

  21. x 7

    At a guess the fox was suffering badly from mange. Foxes in that condition can't hunt, are desperate for food and will risk going almost anywhere if they can smell something to eat. A sports club will have food smells around, so the hungry fox will risk entry even with people present.

    Once its inside, finds itself trapped, desperate with its brain fucked by the irritation and pain of the mange, its quite likely to bite and attack rather than retreat. Its in pain, mindfucked and desperate, it'll doing anything.

    Putting it down was the best option.

    I wouldn't worry about rabies jabs, but anyone in contact with it should worry about developing skin problems from sarcoptic mange (aka scabies) though usually canine mange isn't too much of a problem in humans. Ticks and fleas are a risk as well

  22. xeroks

    Interesting no-one involved thought to film the foxes behaviour.

    Pretty standard practice for unusual events now we all carry video cameras around with us...

  23. David Roberts Silver badge

    Martha Lane?

    Would have been more news worthy, especially the "groin tweak"

    1. x 7

      Re: Martha Lane?

      well.......she is rabid, or at least her "advice" to the government is.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't help feeling

    Simon Pegg would have sorted it!

    oh wait did you say sports club?

  25. NorthernCoder

    I'm surprised no one has asked...

    ...what did the fox say?

  26. disgruntled yank Silver badge


    This weekend, somebody in the Washington, DC, suburbs was walking his dog when they encountered a fox, which charged them. They prudently ran like hell, and got away when the fox was diverted by the man's fallen hat. The local animal control people suppose that the fox was rabid.

    Despite the Anglophilia that prevails in some circles hereabouts, fox hunting has never been much of a presence here, and is less so as the suburbs have expanded.

  27. x 7

    was the fox called Samantha?

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