TWO fox cubs have suffered agonising deaths after allegedly being poisoned in Hucknall.
Members of the public took the tiny animals to Wendy Radford, of the Cedar Wildlife Sanctuary in Kirkby-in-Ashfield.
One was found on the allotments near the Wood Lane section of Hucknall bypass, while the other was found on the bypass itself.
But nothing could be done to save the creatures, which were only five or six weeks old.
Wendy, who has run her sanctuary for more than 20 years, said the foxes showed classic signs of poisoning, including discoloured membranes around their mouths.
She said: "It didn't look like anything else had caused their deaths. There were no obvious signs or wounds that would suggest they had been hit by a vehicle on the bypass or anything like that.
"They were plump little things and it didn't look as if they had been struggling to thrive. These deaths were just cruel and unnecessary.
"It is very dangerous to put poison down. Pets and other animals can also get hold of it."
Wendy believes the poison might have been put out by someone looking to protect chickens from attacks by fully-grown foxes.
She said she had also heard reports of someone shooting an adult fox dead at the allotment site.
Wendy added: "It's terrible. People can deal with foxes in different ways. There are humane traps out there. There is no need to resort to poison or worse.
"Foxes are predators and need to survive. Chickens can be protected."
It is illegal to poison foxes. Anyone found guilty of such an offence could face a fine and/or imprisonment.
Wendy said: "I think the authorities would come down heavily on anyone caught poisoning foxes."