A fox was found hanging from an illegal trap in Haydon Wick, the RSPCA has said.

The charity has issued an urgent appeal for information after the animal was discovered hanging by her front leg at around 7.40am on Thursday, July 23.

The female fox was caught in a gin trap, a type of spring trap that was outlawed more than 60 years ago.

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RSPCA inspector Steph Daly, who rescued the mammal, said: “It’s shocking to think that this poor fox had spent several hours suffering with this awful metal trap hanging from her leg. I’ve been an RSPCA Inspector for a long time and have seen some awful cruelty and unspeakable injuries during that time but seeing this fox hanging like that left me really upset.

“She was off the ground, hanging through a garden fence with the trap caught horizontally between the metal bars of the fencing, and was surrounded by blood from another injury to her leg.

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“Thankfully, I managed to help her free from the fencing and the trap, and she’s now been taken to a vet for emergency treatment.”

Anyone with information about the trap and where it was set is asked to call the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018.