“I know that you’re supposed to blow down a wild animal’s nose to get it to let go, so that is what I did, I put two fingers in his mouth and blew,” she says.
Josie managed to get back into the house to call her son Barry who arrived in short order with his wife to take her to hospital.
The fox had disappeared – leaving the peahen behind, barely alive.
Later, when Barry went outside to check on the hen it was gone – the fox had returned for its spoils.
Josie was taken to Naas hospital where she received stitches to her finger, arm, ear, and numerous others to the inside and outside of her mouth.
The fox in question had already killed the Hillis’ two other pea hens, who were kept as pets, in recent months.
“There’s a lot of families around the place who are looking for him,” says Josie. “But we haven’t caught him yet”.
She thinks that such an exceptionally aggressive attack is probably the product of human interaction with the foxes.
“We’re not too far from Dunstown Wood where this one is probably based. A lot of people think that they’re doing good by feeding them, but really they just get used to people rather than fearing us,” she says.
The search is ongoing for this fox. Josie may be scarred however, but she’s far from cowed by her experience.