This is the moment an RSPCA team managed to free an exhausted fox that had ‘tyred’ itself out after getting its head stuck through the centre – of a wheel.
Rescuers were called to a storage centre after staff found the little fox with its head well and truly stuck in the middle of the old tyre.
Video footage shows a team at RSPCA Bristol Animal Rescue Centre working hard to free the distressed fox, using veterinary lubricant, before gently pulling it free.
The rescued fox – nicknamed Michelin by the team – and was released back in the area it was found in St Jude’s, Bristol.
RSPCA Inspector Alan Barnes said: “The tyre had been discarded outside and the inquisitive fox had been exploring, probably searching for scraps to eat, when he pushed his head through the gap and got well and truly stuck.
“He was wedged and I didn’t want to hurt him by trying to remove him there and then so we took the whole tyre – fox still wedged – over to our Bristol centre.”
Alan and staff from RSPCA Bristol Animal Rescue Centre (ARC) carefully set about removing the distressed animal last Friday (October 4).
Mandy Stone, veterinary manager at Bristol ARC, said: “We used a veterinary lubricant and rubbed it all over his head and neck so we could slowly and carefully manoeuvre him out.
“Thankfully, other than being very confused and scared, he wasn’t injured so Alan was able to release him.”
Michelin – as he was nicknamed by the team who rescued him – was taken back to the area he was found and released.
Alan added: “Michelin was very lucky to have been spotted in the undergrowth otherwise it could have been an awful demise for him.
“I’m so thrilled his story had such a happy ending and we were able to work so quickly, as a team, to free him and get him back into the wild.”
The RSPCA receives more than 1.1m calls every year from members of the public reporting an animal in need of help.
Last year (2018), the animal welfare charity received 24,300 calls about foxes.