Nine—month—old twin baby girls are in serious condition in hospital after they were attacked by a fox while sleeping in their cots in east London, police said on Monday.

The animal attacked Lola and Isabella Koupparis on Saturday night in Homerton, east London, while their parents were watching television. The patio door to the garden had been left open.

The girls suffered injuries to their arms, but one also had facial injuries. Their four—year—old brother, who was also sleeping in the house, was unhurt.

The urban fox population in London is believed to have grown to 10,000, according to the Veterinary Association for Wildlife Management. There are an estimated 33,000 foxes in Britain.

“We have all got foxes at the bottom of our garden,” said one neighbour of the Koupparis family on Monday.

Michael Parra, also a neighbour, said the area had been terrorised by foxes.” “I think foxes are becoming bolder,” he said. Something should be done about them.” But urban wildlife and animal welfare experts said attacks by foxes on humans were an “extremely rare occurrence.”

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