POLICE and RSPCA officers are appealing for information after a fox was found with his lower jaw caught in an illegal trap.

The plight of the male fox was first reported to the RSPCA and North Yorkshire Police on Saturday.

RSPCA officers set a live-catch fox trap in a York garden where he was seen but to no avail.

The animal was finally captured by police officers and volunteers from a group called ‘Band of Rescuers North Yorkshire’ in a field off New Lane, Huntington on Sunday afternoon and taken to a local vets.

Unfortunately his injuries were so severe he had to be put down.

RSPCA Inspector Geoff Edmond said: “The enormous metal trap was clamped tightly shut around his lower jaw causing horrendous injuries.

"His jaw was broken and it was literally hanging on by the skin. He was put to sleep to end his suffering.”

A gin trap is a metal, spring-operated device designed to catch an animal by the leg or head. The setting and using of a gin trap is an offence.

He added: “Gin traps are indiscriminate – catching family pets as well as wildlife – and cause terrible injuries and suffering, which is why it is illegal to use them.

“Trapped animals struggle when caught and may succeed in pulling the trap from its anchor only to die later, which is what would have happened here eventually.

“I want to hear from anyone who may have any information on the RSPCA Inspector appeal line 0300-1238018. Ask to leave a message for me.”

North Yorkshire Police can be contacted on 101.