Rustington mum fears ‘poisoned towel’ left in garden may have killed fox family

A Rustington mother-of-two has been left dumbfounded after it appeared somebody tried to poison a family of foxes visiting her garden.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 2:49 pm

Laura Alderton, 30, has been feeding the family of six foxes in her Maple Walk garden, including one extremely young cub, for around five weeks.

But yesterday afternoon (April 25), Laura was shocked to find a foul-stinking towel drenched in ‘de-icer or white spirit’ had been laid where the foxes play, covered in tiny paw prints.

With no way to throw the towel over the fence, and no drag marks to suggest the foxes brought it in, Laura said somebody must have been into her garden to put it there.

Laura Alderton had a family of foxes visiting her garden for weeks SUS-210426-143004001

“I can’t understand why someone would think to do this, I actually can’t believe it’s happened,” she said.

“It’s such a malicious act. I know they’re wild animals but I feel responsible as I have encouraged them to come in and eat.

“But it’s my garden, so if I want to feed them then I will feed them.”

Laura said the towel smelled so strongly she could smell it from her front door when she got home at around 7pm yesterday – meaning it had arrived in her garden during the daytime.

The foxes had never caused her any issues, she said, and would regularly delight her neighbours as well as her family, who would all come out to watch and photograph them.

They would only come into the garden to eat food, play and laze around, she said, but had not been back since the incident.

With the youngest only around seven weeks old, Laura said she feared the worst if such a small animal had ingested the poison.

She has two and ten-year-old sons who have loved watching the family play, but has not told them about the incident.

Laura Alderton had a family of foxes visiting her garden for weeks SUS-210426-142954001

“They would be absolutely broken,” she said.

More worryingly, with the garden strewn with children’s toys any intruder would have known there were young children in the household who could be affected by a hazardous substance.

Laura said she had reported the incident to Sussex Police and wildlife charities such as the RSPCA.

Laura Alderton had a family of foxes visiting her garden for weeks SUS-210426-143014001
Laura Alderton had a family of foxes visiting her garden for weeks SUS-210426-143024001
Laura Alderton had a family of foxes visiting her garden for weeks SUS-210426-142934001