FAMILIES in south Dublin were left horrified after a baby narrowly escaped injury when a fox entered her bedroom.
The parents of the six month-old girl in Rathfarnham were forced to act quickly and scare the fox out of the room -- and have vowed never to approach a fox in their area again.
A fox recently mauled twin babies in London while they were sleeping in their cots, and locals in south Dublin have been extra vigilant since that alarming incident.
The Dublin mother of the baby, who was living in a ground floor two-bedroom apartment on Ballyboden Road, had befriended the orphaned fox cub with her neighbours months before the incident.
She told the Herald: "I saw something dart from the corner of my eye. When I turned around to have a better look I was totally freaked out to see the fox trotting down my hallway and going into my baby's bedroom when she was napping in her cot."
"I nearly had a heart attack and jumped up and screamed for my husband to get him out. The fox obviously went on the defensive in the back corner of my child's room, he obviously felt completely trapped and got vicious."
The fox had been orphaned months before and was being fed by residents in the apartment complex.
"We realised a young fox was left orphaned in the scrubland beside the apartment complex that we were renting.
"We had witnessed two adult fox fatalities on the road outside in a two-week period and came to the conclusion that the little fox was left on its own," the mother said.
"We all started feeding the little cub. As time went by the little fellow became more and more tame. It got to the stage where he would come up to our door scratching and when we opened the door he would back away a bit but still hang forward and my husband and I would give it scraps."
Luckily, the parents scared the animal out of the room, and they've been revising the incident ever since to make sense of it.
"Luckily we managed to scare him out but God only knows what would have happened if I hadn't spotted him trotting down to my little girl's bedroom when he did," the mother said.
In the London incident, Pauline Koupparis found her nine-month-old daughters Lola and Isabella crying and covered in blood after the fox went into their upstairs bedroom and attacked them in their cots last month. Koupparis and her husband Nick were watching television at the time.
The children are still recovering from the attack.
Cllr Paddy Cosgrave said he had a fox sleeping in the compost heap of his back garden during the big freeze last January.
"I left him there because I knew he wanted to warm himself to be able to sleep, but people should be wary of foxes. They're wild and they do bite. People have to be careful."
Cllr John Lahart said a resident contacted him because a fox had created a den in his back garden and was feeding cubs there.