A DRIVER is warning others to test their brakes after an animal apparently chewed through the brake pipe on his van.

Chris Wood, 58, a carpenter, set off for work as normal but soon found, as he negotiated his way through a tight gate as he left his home in Moorside Road, Kinson, that he had no brakes.

He said: “I didn’t know what had happened.

“I gingerly drove out on to the road and pulled up and looked back up the drive and saw a pool of brake fluid.”

Chris said he remembered seeing a newspaper story last year where it was thought a fox was responsible for chewing through a brake pipe.

He added: “It was jagged and they noticed tooth marks and it was put down to a fox.

“That’s all I can think this was. The garage said there were teeth marks on it, so it was definitely an animal.

“There’s quite a lot of foxes in the area and they’re always in the garden. People need to be aware. If the pipe is chewed up, the brake pedal will go straight to the floor.”

But Steve Davis, volunteering manager at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said it was more likely to be a rodent than a fox.

“Their teeth are not designed for chewing through that sort of thing.

“It’s more likely to be a squirrel or a rat, some sort of rodent,” he said.

“Foxes hunt by sight and smell, so there’s nothing in a brake pipe that would appeal to them.

“Squirrels and rats are continuously looking for things to gnaw,” he said.