A woman was left bemused after finding a fox stuck in her washing machine at her house, and an image of the animal has sent the internet into a frenzy.
Natasha Prayag, 32, was astonished to find the creature cooped up in the appliance at her home in London on Monday, May 24, after leaving the door open as she grabbed some bags from the car.
The adorable fox must have snuck into the house as Natasha and her partner, Adam, unloaded the car – and looking for a safe spot to hide in, it chose the washing machine.
Natasha quickly captured a photo of the fox, who was startled after being spotted and bolted for the exit.
Natasha, a content manager, said: “The initial reaction was shock and alarm, which turned into curiosity.
“As it was dark we decided to double-check it was in fact a fox. We both carefully peeped our heads around the kitchen but couldn’t see the fox.
“Adam looked behind the kitchen blinds, which reach the ground, and even in the cupboard – the fox had disappeared.
“As he was turning, he spotted a soft, little ear peeping out of the drum of the washing machine. He was in the washing machine.”
The fox made himself at home, with Natasha guessing the small, dark space of the drum offered security.
She added: “You can see it looks quite relaxed from the pictures we took – almost quite happy.
“We tried to coax him out first by whistling, then banging around a bit but he held steady.
“I eventually got some food from the fridge – my little one’s pea pasta – put in a Tupperware box and placed it outside to lure him out.
“After a few minutes, he slowly creeped out and towards the pasta that was placed in the garden. However, he smelled the pasta then ran off out the back gate into the street.
“He stopped, came back, sniffed pasta again then ran off. At this point, we closed the kitchen/garden doors in case he wanted to return.”
Luckily, the couple didn’t mind the unplanned visit.
“Foxes can be seen as a nuisance but like any other creature, they are simply trying to ensure their survival,” Natasha said.
“The fantastic fox in the washing machine seemed very relaxed and no threat to us so we treated it as such.”
After sharing a snap of the fox in its hiding spot on Twitter, Natasha quickly went viral with more than 270,000 likes on her original tweet, but it has also been reshared nearly 43,000 times.
She wrote: “Honestly, guys. I’ve got a fox stuck in my washing machine. WHAT THE ACTUAL FOX.”
Viewers quickly flocked to the comments section to share their amazement at the encounter – and a few jokes.
One person quipped: “I’m an expert of foxes, and legally, he now owns your house. You have 48 hours to vacate.”
“The washing machine probably needs vixen,” another person joked.
Someone else advised: “Call the manufacturer and ask what cycle you wash a fox in.”
“This is why you should not keep chickens in your washing machine,” said another comic.
Other people shared their own run-ins with local wildlife.
One person said: “I had one in the bath at 4am, left the back door open on a warm night. Cats were not impressed.”
“We have coyotes in my neighbourhood, but they don’t climb into the appliances,” another person added.
But other viewers were slightly more fearful.
“So London town is completely overrun by foxes, that’s the message to take from this thread? My goodness,” said one person.
According to the London Wildlife Trust, there are around 10,000 foxes living in London at the moment, and in certain boroughs, the creatures are more common than in rural areas.
After her encounter, Natasha has some stellar advice for any other people who encounter a fox in their home.
She added: “It turns out there are some wonderful charities, including the Fox Project, that will offer advice and assistance if you find yourself in a fox conundrum – or, in my case, a fox in your drum.”