A Broadwater woman thought she was going crazy when she awoke every night for a month to the sound of scratching above her bedroom.
Lynne Greenwood of Livesay Crescent was convinced an animal had somehow become trapped in her loft while construction work took place at her home.
She said: “I kept hearing scratching and noises. It would wake me up several times a night.
“But when I looked around there was no sign of it, no droppings, nothing.”
Lynn said the noise would travel around the house – sometimes she thought it was coming from the loft, other times she swore it was in her living room.
Concerned that a wild animal was trapped in the house, Lynn contacted Worthing and District Animal Rescue Service to get to the bottom of the mysterious noises.
Senior animal rescue officer, Billy Elliott, set up a trap in the loft with some food, in the hope that he could ensnare it.
He said: “Lynne called us to say she heard a lot of noise that night, but when I went back up there the food was gone and there was no animal.”
The trap was moved to various parts of the house, but with no success.
Without experiencing the noises firsthand, Billy and the workmen started to speculate whether there was an animal at all.
Billy said: “For an animal to survive for four weeks you can’t help but be sceptical, but Lynne was so convinced there was a noise.”
In the early hours of Wednesday, December 2, Lynne finally came face to face with her tormentor.
“I woke up at 5.30am and heard it again. Later in the morning I went up there and saw it.”
To her surprise, Lynne found a small fox trapped inside the cage.
“It looked okay to me.
“I’m just relieved that it’s gone because it kept waking me up.”
The fox was safely taken away to Grove Lodge Vets in Limbrick Corner, Durrington.
Billy said: “There is no way it could have survived without water for that amount of time, but there’s no way the fox could have had access in and out of the loft.”
The female fox had suffered a broken toe and has been left with The Fox Project in Tunbridge Wells, which has a wildlife hospital.
The project also offers advice on how to humanely deal with foxes.
The fox is expected to be back on its feet soon.
Lynne said she is now able to have a peaceful night’s sleep.
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