A fox that got its head stuck through the middle of a plastic reel outside a church in Britain received assistance from animal rescuers and veterinarians.

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The RSPCA said Father Carl Davies spotted the fox outside St. Catherine's Catholic Church with its head stuck through the middle of the discarded wire reel.

"At first I thought it must be a dead dog but then I saw the poor thing was alive and had a cable tunnel stuck on his head and he was in a lot of distress, struggling to get it off. It was a terrible thing to see an animal suffer like that," Davies said.

Davies contacted the RSPCA, which dispatched Deputy Chief Inspector Charlotte Baumann to the scene.

"We don't know how long he had been stuck like that but the poor thing must have been very stressed out," Baumann said. "I had to take him, with the holder attached, to a nearby vets where he could be sedated and gently removed from the plastic reel."

Baumann said the fox was kept for observation over night and was released the next day.

Davies said the incident highlights the hazards of littering.

"I'm so delighted I was able to help the fox and that he has been released. Sadly, a lot of people throw rubbish over into the back yard of the church so I don't know where the reel came from. It's so irresponsible when people litter as it can hurt both animals and humans alike," he said.