A vixen was badly injured after being snared in a trap which could have been laid to catch animals for illegal blood sports, in a St Helier park.

Fortunately, she was found by a passer-by in Revebsy Wood, off Green Wrythe Lane, on Monday morning, hours after she had been trapped around the throat, and is now recovering on antibiotics at the London Wildcare hospital, Wallington.

Ted Burden, director of the Beddington Park-based hospital, said: The trap was attached to a fence and it got the fox round the throat. She was very swollen and is going to have to be with us for five or six days.

Someone has deliberately put it there. I would say she had been there for more than a couple of hours.

He said the person who laid the trap was most likely looking to shoot their prey on the spot or have it bagged up for use in underground blood sports, such as fox fighting.

Mr Burden added: That is obviously illegal. But people don’t tend to know about the kind of money that changes hands with that sort of thing.

Though there have been moves to ban snares, the one used in this case is one of two types that can still be legally bought.

On a lighter note, London Wildcare is holding its annual open day next Sunday, giving members of the public a chance to take a look at its work at close quarters.

The event, which attracts between 2,000 and 2,500 people, runs from 11am to 3.30pm. For more details call 020 8647 6230.