Fox Lives the High Life in London
24 February 2011, 19:49
An inquisitive fox was discovered living the high life at the top of the UK's tallest skyscraper.
The intrepid visitor spent two weeks roaming free and surviving on scraps of food left by builders at the 288 metre Shard building at London Bridge.
The animal, named Romeo by staff, is thought to have entered via the central stairwell before conquering the climb to reach the building's roof.
But when the fox became trapped on the 72nd floor of what will become Europe's biggest building once completed, his stay ended.
Romeo was caught by Southwark Council pest control officers and taken to Riverside Animal Centre in Wallington where the hungry explorer was given a thorough medical and a few good meals.
"We explained to him that if foxes were meant to be 72 storeys off the ground, they would have evolved wings," said Ted Burden, the centre's founder.
Romeo was then released back into the London Bridge neighbourhood, close to his den and family.
"We think he got the message and, as we released him back on to the streets of Bermondsey shortly after midnight on Sunday, he glanced at the Shard and then trotted off in the other direction," Mr Burden said.
Barrie Hargrove, cabinet member for transport, environment and recycling at Southwark Council, said: "Romeo has certainly been on a bit of a jaunt, and proved rather elusive, but I'm glad our pest control officers were able to help out.
"He's obviously a resourceful little chap, but I'm sure he's glad the adventure is over and hopefully he'll steer well clear of skyscrapers in the future."
Les Leonard, pest control manager at Southwark Council, used the interior and exterior lifts to scale the heights to help capture the fox.
"As far as the job went, it was scary stuff heading all the way up to the top of the building, especially going up the last 34 floors on the outside of the building.
"It was definitely not your typical call out."