March 11 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, January 16, 2014
It could have perhaps been a scene in the Roald Dahl classic Fantastic Mr Fox - a bushy-tailed predator trying to catch a Norwich school’s chickens to feast on.
But thankfully for the unsuspecting prey, two Sprowston Junior pupils caught the fox in the act at the Recreation Ground Road school’s chicken coop.
Ten-year-old Abigail Howlett and nine-year-old Marzana Islam were shocked to find the fox on Tuesday afternoon when they went to check on the school’s four Pekin Bantam chickens - Henrietta, Mrs Frazzle, Lavender and Stan the Man.
“We saw something orange jump, and when we looked we saw it was a fox and its tail was caught in wire,” said Marzana.
Her classmate Abigail added: “We were putting the chickens to bed and then we saw the fox.
“It had got its tail caught in wire and the chickens were close to the fox so we went to tell the office.”
Headteacher Janine Wye praised the girls for alerting the school office to what had happened.
She said the school called the RSPCA, and that an officer quickly arrived and the fox was freed from the wire.
It was suspected the fox had broken its tail, and so it was taken to one of the RSPCA’s wildlife centres.
Ms Wye said the chickens, which the school’s pupils had been looking after since they hatched last July, did not seem bothered by what had happened.
She said: “They were fine. They were still pecking around quite happily, oblivious to the predator caught at the back.”
She added: “Having chickens at the school is something we have done for years.
“Having brought these chickens up from eggs, we want to keep our chickens safe so we are glad we found them in time.”
She also said she was glad they found the fox and were able to call the RSPCA to help the animal.
A spokesman for the RSPCA said that the fox was yesterday being examined at one of its wildlife centres.
The spokesman said it was suspected that the fox had a dislocated tail.
• Do you have an education story? Email education correspondent Martin George at firstname.lastname@example.org