The parents of twin baby girls attacked by a fox in Hackney last month have spoken candidly about their horror at this ‘freak occurrence’ and its legacy of fear.
Speaking in a documentary shown on the BBC, Pauline and Nick Koupparis described their experience of the night their sleeping daughters were mauled by the animal, including how emergency services workers responding to their 999 call initially refused to believe what had happened.
The couple also told filmmakers how, in the aftermath of the attack, they were subjected to a campaign of fear by animal rights protesters who questioned their version of events.
“We feel that our family unit has been violated,” said Mr Koupparis, who also works for Leopard Films, the production company that made the documentary. The Koupparises said they agreed to make the film to let people know the truth behind the events of 5 June.
Verging on tears, Ms Koupparis described the moment when she discovered her nine-month-old daughters Lola and Isabella bleeding in their cots, with the fox still in the bedroom.
“I went into the room, and they were both crying, and Isabella was head down in her cot. There was some blood, so I thought – maybe she’s had a nosebleed,” recounted Ms Koupparis. “As I put the night light on, I [saw] the fox at the end of Lola’s cot, and then I [saw] that Lola was covered with blood as well. I literally just squealed, screamed… I don’t know how to describe it.”
Mr Koupparis described the moment when he picked up his daughter Isabella and discovered the extent of her injuries. “I could feel the blood was all seeping through her babygro, and I threw whatever came to hand at the fox. It then scarpered down the stairs,” he said.
The parents said that although both twins are now back at home and recovering from their ordeal, the extent of their injuries may well leave permanent scarring. Doctors have warned that Isabella will also require further surgery as she grows up.
The Koupparises also described their distress at the backlash they experienced in the aftermath of the attack. With the incident widely reported, doubts were cast by some on their account of events.
The family said the hostility expressed by some animal rights activists even led to their receiving temporary police protection. They added that they had not owned a pet since becoming parents, and had never fed or encouraged the foxes they had seen in their back garden.
Ms Koupparis also spoke of her feelings of fear following the incident. “It’s a bit of a panic every night,” she admitted. “Have you locked the door? Are the windows all closed? I’m quite frightened of keeping the doors open now.”
The Fox Attack Twins: A BBC One Special available on iPlayer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00t2fmb/The_Fox_Attack_Twins/