REMARKABLE footage shows a bold-as-brass urban fox prowl through a town street before sinking its teeth into a man’s shoe.
The clip, filmed in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire, shows the fox creeping close to a wall late at night as the beat of music from a club can be heard in the background.
The fox is encouraged to approach a small group of people, one of whom is filming the surprise encounter.
Seconds later, the fox delivers a big surprise as it bites down on the end of a man’s shoe.
Barmaid Elizabeth McDade was taking a break after closing time at the The Libertine pub shortly after midnight yesterday (mon) before heading back in to clean up.
Elizabeth, 31, was having a chat with local Conor Danskin when the fox appeared and grabbed her phone to capture the moment.
Conor can be heard saying “Come here son”, as the fox pricks up its ears and heads over inquisitively.
Elizabeth then says “Oh god” as the fox is within inches of the pair, amazed at how close the creature has come to them.
Conor excitedly shouts “Hiya!” as the fox comes up to him, and then in a lower tone: “Don’t make any sudden movements…”
Hilariously, seconds later a crunching sound can be heard as the fox clamps its jaws down on Conor’s shoe.
Conor’s exclamation of “Ah ya wee d***!” scares the fox, as it runs back into the middle of the street.
Elizabeth said: “I love foxes, though I have never been able to see one just as close up. My initial reaction was to be in awe at a wild animal coming so close, then obviously I found it hilarious that he, or she, tried to take Conor’s shoe!”
Elizabeth posted the clip to Facebook, referring to the fox as her “after shift entertainment”. Conor did not come to any harm.
On social media, Laura McDade said: “It’s come really close!”
David Green added: “If only the tories were nearby”
Carl Woods joked: “Typical Hamilton punters, always attempting to steal shoes…”
Concern has been raised throughout the UK about the growing boldness of urban foxes and whether it is right to feed them.
In Edinburgh in 2013, local councillor Alex Lunn was inundated with calls suggesting urban foxes were attacking pets, dragging rubbish and takeaway remains into the street, and raiding bins.
The same year, in London, the then Mayor, Boris Johnston, suggested that foxes were a ‘menace’ that needed to be tackled after a fox bit a baby in the city.
But the RSPCA has asked people to feed foxes, saying these kinds of incidents are rare as foxes mostly attack out of fear, and tend to be hesistant around humans and larger animals.