THE RSPCA has rescued a fox after it was caught in a snare in Teesdale.
RSPCA Inspector Clare Wilson and an animal collection officer freed the fox, which was found south-east of Barnard Castle on a footpath towards Greta Bridge.
The trap had caught the fox by its mouth and it was covered in flies.
The RSPCA said the trap had been set legally but it was on a public right of way and may not have been inspected recently – which is required by the code of practice. The fox may been trapped for some time, the charity said.
Ms Wilson said: “He was obviously in distress and was rushed to a local vet for a thorough examination.
“Thankfully, after examination by the vet, it was clear that the wound from the snare was superficial but we still had to check.
“The fox did have parasites on him so he was cleaned up, given some treatment and had the fly eggs washed off. We’d walked for miles to rescue this poor fox so it was well worth the effort.”
The caller was able to use the What3Words app to identify the location.
Ms Wilson added: “The RSPCA is against the use of snares because of the suffering they cause, not only to animals like foxes that are often the target of such traps, but also to other animals like badgers and even domestic animals like cats.
“Snares cannot discriminate between species and any animal that moves through the noose is a potential victim.”
She added: “Never try to free an animal from a snare or trap – you risk hurting yourself and the animal. Also, many animals caught by snares are more seriously injured than you think, so it is best that they are examined properly to see if they need treatment.
“Stay back to avoid stressing the animal and call us with the location on our emergency line 0300 1234 999.”