A ONE-MONTH-OLD child’s mother has been left shaken up after a ‘fox tried to run away with her baby’ from her house in Downham.

The animal tore one of the infant's fingers off after dragging him from his cot after entering his bedroom in Dagonet Road, according to reports.

He was taken to St Thomas’s Hospital where surgeons were able to reattach the baby's finger and he is said to be recovering well.

Next door neighbour Paula Wellington, of Roundtable Road, said: “His mother told me a fox tried to run away with her baby.

“A fox tried to drag the baby away and she was trying to pull it off him.

“She grabbed hold of the fox to get it off the baby.

“When I saw her the next day I knew something was wrong and did not want to ask too many questions so just let her speak.

“She was still shaken up when she was speaking to me.”

The child's mother was alerted by his screaming and rushed into his room to see his hand lodged "halfway down the animal's throat", the Mail on Sunday said.

Her 36-year-old neighbour added: “If it had happened in my house I would not be staying here, I would move.

“I see some foxes here running in the broad daylight and my son saw one running along the back fence like a cat.

“I think there should be some kind of cull of foxes, there are too many around today.”

Neighbours say the baby’s parents are called Paul and Kylie and he is believed to have an older sibling.

Some reports suggest the fox got in through the back door of the home which was said to be broken.

But Phoenix Community Housing says this had been repaired on January 24.

A spokeswoman from the housing association said: "Firstly, our thoughts are with Ms Cawley and her family at this distressing time.

"We can confirm that repairs were carried out to windows and doors at the property on January 24 2013.

"We did not receive further reports from the family for repairs works at the home after this date.

"We have spoken to the mother and also visited the family to offer support.

"We will continue to be in touch to maintain practical support at this difficult time."

A Met Police spokesman said: "We were called at 4.38pm on Wednesday by staff at St Thomas's Hospital to reports a baby boy who had been admitted to hospital after being attacked by a fox.

"Police attended to find a four-week-old baby with a hand injury.

"The baby was admitted to hospital after the attack at its home address.

"Inquiries continue."

An RSPCA spokeswoman said the only reason a fox would attack is due to fear.

She added: "It's extremely unusual for foxes to attack young children or anyone.

It's not typical fox behaviour at all - foxes will come closer to a house if there are food sources.

Then they can become quite bold, but they usually do back off and run away when there's people around."

London Mayor Boris Johnson said more must be done to tackle the growing problem of urban foxes.

He told BBC News: "They may appear cuddly and romantic but foxes are also a pest and a menace, particularly in our cities.

"This must serve as a wake-up call to London's borough leaders, who are responsible for pest control."

Mr Johnson also said his thoughts were "with the baby boy and his family".

Do you know the baby or his family? Call the newsroom on 01689 885725 or email rfisk@london.newsquest.co.uk