A MAN who blacked out in a village cemetery had his nose and fingers bitten off in a suspected fox attack.
The 37-year-old is recovering from his injuries at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary after the incident in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The wounded man was discovered by police at St Michael's Parish Church Cemetery, Inveresk.
A source said: "He was attacked by a fox in a cemetery near Musselburgh as he was lying unconscious. His nose was chewed and two-and-a-half fingers were bitten off. He was taken away to hospital unconscious but breathing."
It is not clear how the man, who has not been named, came to be unconscious in the cemetery.
A police spokesman said: "Lothian and Borders Police can confirm it is carrying out inquiries after a 37-year-old man was found in the Inveresk area in the early hours of Sunday, October 24, with injuries to his face and hand.
"These injuries may have been caused by animals. He is being treated for his non-life-threatening injuries at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary."
A spokesman for the ambulance service confirmed an unconscious man with facial injuries was taken to hospital from the Inveresk cemetery.
Village resident Jack Fraser said the grisly incident had shocked the community.
"People are certainly talking about it - that he had been found in the cemetery and looked like he had been punched in the face a few times. I also heard there were a few tops of his fingers missing.
"No-one I've spoken to has any idea what happened to him but when people start talking they often get the wrong idea. I just hope he recovers all right."
John Caldwell, councillor for Musselburgh and Carberry said: "I stay not far from that area and the only animals around capable of doing such a thing are the foxes."
One nearby resident, who asked not to be named, said she saw police at the scene late on Saturday night. She said: "I was walking my dog at about midnight and saw two police cars and thought they must be looking for someone."
East Lothian Council, whose landscape and countryside division tends to the cemetery, said none of its staff had knowledge of the incident and Reverend Andrew Dick, minister at the kirk where the man was found, said he had nothing to add to the facts already known.
Earlier this year a fox attacked twin baby girls while they slept in their cot at home in London. At the time, John Bryant, a pest control consultant who specialises in foxes, said such attacks were not typical fox behaviour.