A young fox had to be rescued after it got caught in football netting for around three hours.

The wild animal managed to get its neck and leg tangled up in a goalpost netting at a garden in Pinner and could not wriggle free.

Rescuers were called last week (June 1) to Hazeldene Drive, Pinner, and found that the male fox had his neck and front leg entangled.

RSPCA workers said the fox was panting heavily while trapped and was getting distressed in the ordeal.

Simon Hoggett, a RSPCA Inspector, managed to untangle the fox and said he did not appear to be injured.

It then took around three hours to safely rescue the fox and free it from the netting.

Talking about the incident, Mr Hoggett said: “This poor fox was well and truly stuck in the net and had been there for some time. I managed to untangle him and although he didn’t appear to be injured, he was panting quite heavily and was clearly distressed so I took the juvenile fox to a nearby wildlife specialist.

“Once he’s been checked over, this little fella will be released back to the wild again soon.

“This incident highlights the importance of removing netting from gardens as it is dangerous for wildlife.”

The RSPCA said the charity receives hundreds of calls every year to rescue animals - often wildlife - who have become tangled in netting on sporting equipment or garden nets.

The RSPCA inspector added: “These kinds of incidents are a very stressful situation for an animal, particularly a wild animal, to find themselves in and one which could have been easily avoided. If the animal gets seriously entangled, it can cause severe injuries as well.

“Many people may not realise that netting used for fencing, gardening or in sporting equipment can actually be really dangerous for animals.

“We would urge those using netting for sports to remove and store all nets after their game and put any discarded or old netting safely in a bin.

“Any garden netting should be replaced with solid metal mesh or people should use wood panels for fencing instead of netting.”

Anyone who sees a wild animal needing help call the RSPCA emergency line on 0300 1234 999 or online at www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/injuredanimals