'It was starving' - Ipswich NHS worker nurses 'Roxy' the fox back to health

'Roxy' the fox has been a regular visitor of one Ipswich local over the past few months

'Roxy' the fox has been a regular visitor of one Ipswich local over the past few months - Credit: Liz Knott

An Ipswich woman has spent the last three months nursing a fox back to health after it began to visit her garden.

Liz Knott, who lives in the IP4 area of the Suffolk town, was first made aware of the unexpected visitor when a neighbour sent a picture of it in her garden in March.

"I'd been in London in and my neighbour sent a message telling me to mind my cat flap.

'Roxy' the fox has been a regular visitor at one Ipswich garden for the last few months

'Roxy' the fox has been a regular visitor at one Ipswich garden for the last few months - Credit: Liz Knott

"There was a fox on the garden chair, it had virtually no fur and a down-trodden look about it".

After noticing how unhealthy the animal looked, she began to start feeding it with cat food and then scraps of meat from a local butcher.

'Roxy' was pictured resting in the sun despite being a nocturnal animal

'Roxy' was pictured resting in the sun despite being a nocturnal animal - Credit: Liz Knott

"She was hanging round the garden a lot so several times a day, I fed her.

"I got a special treatment for the mange and started putting it on her meat and after a while she started to progress and some of her fur was beginning to grow back.

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"As time has gone by, she's started to change colour and she's getting her 'foxy' looks back."

Liz, who works in the NHS, outlined the steps she took to ensure she was providing the right care for the animal, saying: "I contacted the RSPCA who gave me a case number and sent an inspector round quite quickly, probably within two hours.

"By the time he got there, the fox was gone but he looked around the garden and in the shed.

"He said I should try to catch her in the shed so that they could come and get her.

Roxy has been coming in and out of the garden via cat flap

Roxy has been coming in and out of the garden via cat flap - Credit: Liz Knott

"But I never get closer than a foot away from her and I make no attempt to touch her because she's a wild animal and I respect that".

Liz joked that 'Roxy' was the "best fed fox in the neighbourhood" but also added that "she's not in the garden in the daytime anymore so hopefully she's asleep.

"She'll turn up sometime between 6pm and 8pm and I think she's probably getting food from other places too, but as long as that fox keeps coming to me, I'll feed her".

The fox's colour has made an improvement since first visiting Liz

The fox's colour has made an improvement since first visiting Liz - Credit: Liz Knott

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: "The RSPCA advises people to exercise caution if they are considering providing foxes with food, because while they may like to see foxes in their own garden, their neighbours may not share that view.

"Foxes are excellent scavengers, and will usually already have a good food supply in the area.

"We strongly discourage trying to make wild animals such as foxes tame and they should never be hand-fed.  

"Care should also be taken not to put too much food out as foxes may not move far if all the food they need is available in one garden.  

"They may bury some, defecate or cause other problems in neighbouring gardens leading to ill-feeling against the foxes.

"We would also advise taking sensible precautions so as not to come into direct contact with the foxes or their faeces."