A taxi driver says his street is plagued by a group of foxes which burrow under his minibus at night and chew through the wires and pipes.
According to the East London Guardian, William Church, from Loughton, says the pests could cost him his job as he has had to spend over £6,000 on fixing the damage they have caused in the last two years. The 64-year-old thought he may have outsmarted them when he put a sturdy fence up - but the animals managed to gnaw through the structure.
He said: “I’m at my wits’ end. It’s very stressful. I am constantly going to sleep at night wondering what state my bus will be in the next morning. It makes me very angry. I just don’t know what to do.”
Initially he was confused when he first spotted damage to his £60,000 van in 2016, but played back CCTV cameras to find six foxes congregating underneath it. He has contacted Environmental Health at Epping Forest District Council but claims nothing is being done to help him.
Meanwhile, he is constantly forced to fork out more money to repair the damage caused by the animals. The most serious episode happened five weeks ago when he took a neighbour to Gatwick Airport at around 2am. As he pulled out a light flashed up saying his brake fluid was low – but when he went to replace it discovered foxes had chewed through the pipes.
“Someone could have been killed,” he added. “It could have cost me or my passenger our lives.”
On a recent Sunday, another light appeared warning him his brake pads were low, and it turned out foxes had chewed through some pipes. He managed to fix it himself with the help of a neighbour but was left £120 out of pocket.
Last September he contacted a private contractor from a pest control company who advised it could cost £1,200 to get rid of the animals. But he fears the issue is because people feed the foxes meaning they keep coming back to cause chaos. He added: “I’ve tried everything and I just don’t know where to turn.”
His wife, Carolyn Church, says foxes regularly wreak havoc on the street – chewing on artificial turf and using the area as a toilet. She said: “Everybody is up in arms. It’s like fox wars here.”
A petition calling for Erewash cabbies to be allowed to have fully-tinted windows in their taxis has been rejected over fears that vehicles could be used to enable the abuse of vulnerable children and adults.