British police are looking for a group of men who have repeatedly tortured foxes, including setting them on fire in East London.
An animal rescue group called the police late last month after setting fire to a fox in a wooded area near Kestrel Avenue and Linton Gardens.
One resident had reported waking up around 1am to the sound of what they assumed was someone yelling. Upon inspection, the individual saw a group of men pour lighter fluid on a fox and set it on fire with a lighter, police said.
The fox managed to escape but was badly burned. The extent of the animal’s injuries – or whether it survived the horrific assault – is not known.
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Investigators determined that the group of men regularly traveled to the area in the early morning hours and previously captured and tortured foxes. Police said the group set fires to drive the foxes out of their dens and pit them against their dogs.
“I am truly shocked and disgusted by these appalling and cruel incidents and would like to urge anyone with information to come forward so we can catch those responsible and prevent more foxes from being harmed,” Detective James Mahoney said in a statement.
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Mahoney urged surrounding residents to check their doorbell, dash cam or CCTV footage “just in case you’ve caught these heinous crimes or a group of males matching your description loitering around.”