An elderly Kildare woman required twenty stitches in her face, arm and hand after being attacked by a fox in her back garden.
Josie Hillis(71), wife of Fine Gael councillor Billy Hillis, was attacked by the fox in the back garden of their property in Dunshane, near Brannockstown.
The couple own around twenty poultry and four of their peahens have been killed since Christmas. On Tuesday night, Hillis attempted to chase a fox away from a peanhen when she was attacked.
The fox pinned her to the ground, tearing at her face and arm before Hillis could react.
"The fox caught me unawares and I slipped", she told Kildare Now. "It caught my face and I had to prise it's mouth open".
"I read somewhere that if you blow into an animal's nose it will release its hold. It worked long enough for me to throw (the fox) away but it came back and grabbed my arm".
"I was able to reach a stick and beat it over the head until it let go".
She claims she was fending off the fox for around ten minutes before it finally ran away. "It kept coming back at me".
Hillis received over twenty stitches on her hand, arm ear, lips and mouth at Naas General hospital.
"I am frightened for children, I would like to see him shot. This animal is dangerous".
Hillis' husband had suffered a heart attack a week prior and was hospitalised in Tallaght when the incident occured.
Her son Barry told the Star that Hillis had "said she wasn't going to let (the fox) kill any more of the chickens".
"It was awful because my dad's heart had only just stopped the week before, and he was still recovering in hospital".
Billy Hillis was discharged from Naas General Hospital yesterday after a pacemaker was fitted, and the couple are both recovering at home.