The four-week-old baby, Denny Dolan, was dragged out of his sleeping cot by a fox, who badly mauled his hand, and gave him a black eye from battering the child against a door frame.

Dolan underwent emergency surgery after his finger was ripped off. Doctors from Evelina Children’s Hospital managed to re-attach the digit after a four-hour operation.

The mayor placed the onus of pest control on the boroughs: “We face a growing problem with our urban fox population. Personally I wouldn’t rule anything in or out but ultimately this is a matter on which the boroughs must take the lead. Pest control falls to them.

“Attacks like that on this little boy thankfully are rare but foxes are a growing menace. Borough leaders need to look carefully at the facts and work together to respond.”

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