The parents of a four-week-old baby whose finger was ripped off by a fox are keeping a bedside vigil for their little boy.
Paul Dolan and Hayley Cawley, 28, are with their son, Denny, who was attacked by the fox after it crept into their home in Bromley, south east London.
Denny also suffered bite wounds to his face and was taken to St Thomas' Hospital for surgery after being savaged on Wednesday afternoon.
The baby remains at Evelina Children's Hospital, within St Thomas', where his parents, who also have an older son and daughter, remain by his side.
A spokesman for the hospital today said Denny had been moved from the High Dependency Unit to a ward and is 'recovering well'.
The child was asleep in his cot when his mother, in the next room, heard a piercing scream then a heavy thud as the four-week-old boy was flung to the floor.
Residents said the family had moved from the home in Bromley, Kent, following the attack on Wednesday and the house appeared empty today.
Council chiefs said the incident was 'very tragic but rare'.
When the baby's mother heard the screams from her son's room, she ran in to find his hand lodged 'halfway down the animal's throat'. She fought desperately to release him, repeatedly kicking the fox until it eventually let go
Surgeons later reattached the baby’s finger in an ‘extremely difficult’ but successful three-hour operation.‘The baby is recovering well,’ said a source.
The child also suffered puncture wounds to the face in what is believed to be the worst attack of its kind in Britain.
The fox had crept into the house through an open back door, which was apparently awaiting repair by the council.
The horrific attack in suburban Bromley, South-East London, has revived the debate over culling urban foxes.
Neighbours said foxes have been a 'menace' in the area and are now worried about the safety of their own children.
Khadine Peters, 36, who lives next door to the house where the fox attack happened, said: 'I heard screams, but I didn't think anything of it.
'Then I saw an ambulance and wondered what was going on.
'They are a nice couple. They have three children: an older son and daughter plus a baby boy.
'It's so sad. I hope the baby is okay.'
Paula Wellington, 36, said: 'Foxes are menace around here.
'We get foxes in our garden all the time. My son recently saw a fox walking along the fence like a cat.
'I'm going to ask my housing association to make the fences higher so I feel safe in my own home.'
Another neighbour said the family moved out a couple of nights ago.
The attack has reopened the debate on how to deal with urban foxes.
Today, a spokesman for Lewisham Council said: 'If people understand what to do then that is the best way of keeping the foxes at bay.
'Things like how they dispose of their rubbish is really important, and bagging things up and not feeding the foxes.
'It is very tragic to hear about this attack, but in our experience it is very rare.
'Our procedure is to offer advice and trying to help people understand foxes will come through their area and what their natural habitat is.
'Obviously that doesn't take away from the terrible things that happen, but it is very rare for a fox to come into a house.
'We will continue to encourage people to realise that keeping gardens and streets free of litter and do all they can to keep that message at the forefront of peoples' minds."
London Mayor Boris Johnson supports a cull of urban foxes.
He told The Mail on Sunday: ‘My thoughts are with the baby boy and his family.
'Thankfully this sort of attack, though terrible, is rare, but we must do more to tackle the growing problem of urban foxes.
'They must come together, study the data, try to understand why this is becoming such a problem and act quickly to sort it out.’
But Chris Packham, the natural history broadcaster, insisted: ‘If you want fewer foxes in towns, then don’t cull them, but stop getting people to throw food on the ground, and into bins, because that’s what’s helping their numbers rise,’ he said.
The baby was taken to St Thomas’ Hospital in London by ambulance. By the time it arrived, the baby’s severed finger had turned ‘blue and was cold’ and his mother was ‘hysterical’.
That night the baby was moved to the specialist Evelina Children’s Hospital, part of the St Thomas’ complex, where two plastic surgeons performed microsurgery.
A source said the operation to reconnect the child's finger had proved successful and that it had ‘returned to a pink colour’.
Another source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The boy is recovering well but his hand was pretty mangled.
‘If there is a message to come out of this, it’s that foxes are a major public health issue.
‘People should really be talking to the authorities about this – they need to be harangued about what should be done because this is another horrific fox attack.
‘People must know they have to close their back doors in case this sort of thing happens.’
In June 2010, twin baby girls were hospitalised after a savage fox attack at their home in Hackney, East London.
The two nine-month-olds, Isabella and Lola Koupparis, were mauled as they slept in a bedroom after the animal entered the house via a back door that had been left open in the hot weather. Both girls suffered serious injuries to their arms and partial facial injuries.
Today their mother Pauline said these attacks are not rare and 'will happen again and again'.
She said: 'We found out about the latest attack on Saturday night and didn't sleep well.
'We felt really sick and sad that it could happen again.
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