A four-week-old baby boy from London, UK, was dragged from his cot by a fox before the animal tore his finger off.
The child was asleep in his cot when his mother, in the next room, heard a piercing scream then a heavy thud as the baby was flung to the floor.
Local residents said the family had moved from the home in Bromley, Kent, following the attack on Wednesday and the house appeared empty today.
Council chiefs said the incident was “very tragic but rare”.
When the baby’s mother heard the screams from her son’s room, she ran in to find his hand lodged “halfway down the animal’s throat”. She fought desperately to release him, repeatedly kicking the fox until it eventually let go.
Surgeons later reattached the baby’s finger in an “extremely difficult” but successful three-hour operation.
“The baby is recovering well,” said a source.
The child also suffered puncture wounds to the face in what is believed to be the worst attack of its kind in Britain.
The fox had crept into the house through an open back door, which was apparently awaiting repair by the council.
The horrific attack in suburban Bromley, South-East London, has revived the debate over culling urban foxes.
Neighbors said foxes have been a “menace” in the area and are now worried about the safety of their own children.
Some experts believe there are now more than 10,000 foxes living close to humans in London. At the end of winter, when numbers are lowest, there are 258,000 adult foxes in Britain, of which 33,000 are in urban areas.