Fox prime suspect in mystery of judge’s chewed shoe

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The culprit struck as Mr Thomas and his wife Sue, a retired family doctor, slept at their large house in Cotham, Bristol.

When he got up he noticed just one of his shoes where he had left then, but the other had been hauled onto a balcony and partially devoured.

Mr Thomas, 64, a retired district judge, said: “I could smell a fox smell, I knew it must be a fox.

“I didn’t think a rat or cat could have done it and there were no dogs in the house. I also don’t think it was an angry person I had dealt with in court.”

He thinks it must have slipped into the house after walking along a garden wall and scaling the balcony.

It then got through a partially-open sash window, 30ft above the ground, and into the first floor living room before searching around.

“I’m flabbergasted it was so bold,” added Mr Thomas, who heard nothing during the night of the raid.

Dr Thomas, 62, said: “I think that people should be aware that a fox could get in through a window like that.

“I can think of no other explanation, no doors were left open, just the window. There was a very strong smell of fox in our study, it really stinks, and we see foxes around where we live all the time.

“We don’t have any small children in the house, but after recent events people might want to be careful about leaving windows open if they do.”

There are an estimated 27 foxes per square mile living in close proximity to humans in urban areas of England.

The disease mange virtually wiped out urban foxes in Bristol in the early 1990s, but there are an estimated 1,000 breeding adults in the city.

Its suburban estates full of semi-detached house, large gardens and open spaces iprovides an ideal habitat for the animals.

Two months ago nine-month old twins were left seriously ill after being mauled by a fox as they slept in their upstairs bedroom in east London.

Isabella and Lola Koupparis were in cots when they were attacked in the three-storey Victorian terrace house in Hackney.

It is believed a fox entered the house through a window or door left open for ventilation during a spell of warm weather.

The twins’ parents Nick, 40, a film financier, and Pauline, 41, raised the alarm after discovering the girls with serious injuries at around 10pm on a Saturday,

Isabella spent 12 days in hospital and according to her mother may need plastic surgery for the rest of her life.

Lola was released from hospital after six nights and received treatment to her face and right arm.

Hackney council put down six fox caught in the family’s back garden within two weeks of the attack.

Monkey attempts to ‘adopt’ toad in zoo

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Swoozie, a female swamp monkey, saved the amphibian from a pond at the edge of her enclosure.

She then spent a whole day with the common toad before it was able to wriggle free

Crowds gathered as the seven-year-old monkey cuddled the toad and even rubbed the cold-blooded creature to try and warm it up.

The bizarre event was captured on camera by retired teacher Sheila Hassanein , 64, who was visiting the zoo.

She said: ”The monkey was trying to shield it from view, she was treating it as if it was her baby and she was trying to protect it.

”The enclosure is surrounded by water and there are lots of toads in there. She must have just picked one out.

”She was rubbing it as if she was trying to warm it up, but of course it’s a cold-blooded reptile [sic]. It was very strange.”

Taiwanese woman catches 4 million mosquitoes

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Huang Yuyen, from Yunlin county in southern Taiwan, beat 72 rivals with a catch weighing in at more than 1.5 kilogrammes (3lbs 5oz), according to Imbictus International, the insect trap-making company that organised the contest.

The haul was more than double that of her nearest rival.

The company has sent an application to Guinness World Records asking that Miss Huang be recognised as the world’s leading killer of the pest.

Mosquitoes have been a major public health hazard in Taiwan, especially as carriers of malaria until its official eradication on the island in 1965. They are still responsible for the spread of dengue fever.