The parents of the twin baby girls mauled by a fox are reported to be receiving police protection due to concern over internet threats from animal rights activists.
The twins’ mother Pauline Koupparis, who originally hails from Newcastle in Co Down, has been targeted by a number of internet groups according to the Mail on Sunday yesterday. One anti-fox hunting group accused her of making up the story about the animal attacking her children.
Two Facebook sites have since been removed. One group called Urban Fox Defenders had attracted over 780 members.
Several posts on the site complain about the portrayal of fox fans and many claim there has been an over-reaction to the perceived threat from foxes to humans. Mrs Koupparis (41) had spoken out saying she hoped the “horrendous” attack on her baby girls would force councils to act on the problem of the growing urban fox population.
Her nine-month-old twins Lola and Isabella suffered “life-changing injuries” when they were attacked as they slept in their east London home last week.
Mrs Koupparis was supported by London mayor Boris Johnson, who has called for a greater focus to control the “pests”.
However, the mother’s comments enraged animal lovers on a number of internet sites, some of whom used inflammatory language.
One website user even questioned whether the foxes had mauled the children. They wrote: “I really can’t see how a fox could be so brazen as to go into a house and up the stairs and past adults.”
But it is not the first report of a fox attack on a baby. Nor have any official questions been raised about Mrs Koupparis’ account.
Lola left hospital on Friday, while Isabella, who was injured more seriously, is receiving treatment at the Royal London.
Scotland Yard told this paper: “There will continue to be a visible police presence as we assist the family and their neighbours going about their daily business.”