Staff raised the alarm after a fox cub was found entangled in a goal net on a school’s football pitch.
The animal was caught around its throat and was hanging by the neck when it was found.
Now an RSPCA inspector has appealed to schools, sports clubs and homeowners to ensure any netting is lifted off the ground to avoid animals becoming trapped.
The alarm was raised at Anchorsholme Academy on Wednesday afternoon and the school immediately called out RSPCA inspector Amy McIntosh.
By the time she arrived the five-month-old cub, which would have only recently left its mother’s care, was becoming distressed and fighting for breath.
Ms McIntosh says she had to act fast to save the cub’s life.
The netting was wrapped completely around her neck and was suspended in the air when she was found
She said: “The netting was wrapped completely around her neck and was suspended in the air when she was found.
“She was very distressed and struggling to breathe.
“I wrapped her in towels so that she couldn’t see me. Wild foxes are normally very nervous animals and terrified of the sight of humans.
“Forced close human contact like this can send them into a state of shock which can kill them as obviously they do not know we are trying to help.
“I cut the upper net free so he could breathe.
“I moved her into a kennel slowly and quietly before cutting off the bottom half of the netting.
“I rushed her to Norcross Veterinary Centre where the vet nurses helped me to remove the rest of the netting which was tangling her neck and front paw and check her for any wounds or rubbing from the netting.
“She was released back at the school playing fields where she was found and it was clear that she knew exactly where she was going as soon as she was brave enough to run out of the kennel.”
Ms McIntosh thanked the children at the academy on East Pines Drive, for staying in their classrooms when the fox was released to find its lair.
And she added: “Anyone who has any type of netting for football nets or similar in their garden or place of work should lift the netting off the ground at night so that animals don’t become trapped in it.
“Every year all types of animals such as foxes, hedgehogs and even birds get trapped in netting.
“The animals then panic and struggle and the netting tightens. This sometimes causes horrible injuries or strangles the animal and it can be fatal.”