RESCUERS are "urgently" searching for a fox spotted with a tube around its neck after they were inundated with phone calls from concerned residents.

Over the last two weeks, Second Chance Fox Rescue and Rehabilitation in North Baddesley has received over 50 calls from people who have seen the animal in Gosport.

It said they it is “urgently” trying to find the fox as the tube may stop the animal from being able to eat and drink - but so far it has avoided their traps.

Steve Mason, who has been running the fox rescue centre for eight years said: "We can't catch the damn thing.

"It's proven to be very elusive. We have got three traps now for it."

He said it is likely the fox got its head caught in the tube on a building site while looking for rats and food left by people.

Hampshire Chronicle: The fox with the tube around its neckThe fox with the tube around its neck (Image: Solent News & Photo Agency)

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The 65-year-old said he was first alerted to the animal two weeks ago when a lady rang him to say she had spotted a fox with a tube around its neck.

He said the animal was "coming and going" for several days so he started setting traps but the fox would not give in.

The father of two set up traps in Gosport, where it had been spotted.

He said: "We have to put the traps in an area where we are going to catch it.

"We need to find a pattern to where it goes so we are trying to gather information on it.

"Foxes are very wary of traps. We have set other traps before and have waited over two weeks before we have caught the fox.

"We have had hedgehogs and badgers in there but that fox needs to be in that trap as soon as possible."

Mr Mason said finding the animal is “urgent” and the team are now resorting to using raw chicken and sausage to lure it in.

He said: "It is urgent we catch this fox as soon as possible. We have got one of our staff members, out day and night trying to find the fox.

"Every day she's out trying to find it."

He warned that if the tube is not removed, it will eventually stop the fox from being able to eat or drink.

The rescue worker said at the moment, they are unsure if the tube is made of rubber or plastic.

He added: "We have lots of injured foxes coming to us.

"We must have had about 50 to 60 calls about the fox and there are a lot of concerned people. We are getting a lot of help from the public with sightings."