Recently motorists in the Kent town of Royal Tunbridge Wells have been plagued by foxes apparently attacking their cars.
Police were called to investigate six incidents in a fortnight, in which motorists reported that their brake lines had been tampered with. The scene was set for it to be the work of a mystery vandal, or a group of yobs causing havoc. However the Telegraph have reported that young fox cubs are to blame, as they use the underside of cars as cover when on the prowl, chewing the pipes to help strengthen their teeth and jaws. It’s estimated the fox cubs could be as young as three months old.
Fox expert, John Bryant, said: “It was thought to be vandalism but it was not human vandals. I looked at the damaged cables and the only possible explanation is foxes. Fortunately it is a pretty rare occurrence but you do get a couple of cases every year. It is the cubs who are teenage hooligans now so they are up to all sorts. They get under cars and snap away at all the cables when they are hyped up. I would always advise people to get some strong animal repellent and squirt it underneath and round the car. Or park your car elsewhere. I did know of a case once where a woman got in her car and went out down the M25 and suddenly realised she had no brakes. Fortunately she was fine, but the potential implications could be huge."
A spokesman for the Kent Police said: “Officers have investigated the full circumstances of these reports and a wildlife expert has confirmed that the damage has been caused by foxes. There is no evidence at this stage to suggest the damage was deliberately caused by a person however any new reports will be thoroughly investigated. Foxes, especially cubs at this time of year, are known to rest under vehicles and can chew through pipes.”
Community Safety Unit Say
Inspector Christian Mayers, from the Tunbridge Wells Community Safety Unit, said: “Each of the incidents were quickly noticed by the driver, as they have attempted to drive off from being parked. No one has been injured as a result of this. These reports are very unusual and, as a precaution, I would encourage motorists to safely apply their brakes before they set off on a journey. Also, check your dashboard for a warning light. If there is damage to your brakes a warning message is likely to appear. It is also a good idea to regularly inspect the underside of your vehicle. Finally, consider regularly washing your car to remove any scents left by foxes. There are also animal repellents available, which can be applied to vehicles in order to deter foxes.”