A family living on the busy Framfield Road Uckfield, very close to the Town Centre, had a surprise yesterday afternoon (15th February 2018) when they found a badger curled up in a narrow passageway next to their house. Concern as the badger was shaking, the residents called East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS).
A veterinary ambulance was on site within 20 minutes and experienced rescuer Trevor Weeks MBE assessed the badger.
He said: “I could see the badger curled up at the end of the passageway, and as I got closer he raised his head and stared at me.
“He turned around a few times and moved about so I was able to check how well he was reacting and using all his legs too.
“I couldn’t see any sign of injury and the shaking was just fright and not because the badger was ill in any way, however I was concerned how close to the busy main road the badger was and how easily it could be disturbed and end up running out into the road and potentially causing an accident and or getting run over, so we decided to catch the badger and bring in to safety.”
A strong wire cage was placed on the ground in front of the badger and slowly pushed closer and closer and the badger encouraged to run inside. “Badgers are very strong animals and they are almost impossible to scruff, they are not always easy to get dog graspers on as they have a habit of tucking their heads between their front legs when frightened. If you can encourage them into a cage cover with a blanket so they think its somewhere to hide, you can often catch them without the need for stressing them out using a dog grasper” explained Trevor to new rescuers Ellie and Victoria.
The badger was carried back to WRAS’s ambulance and driven back to their veterinary hospital where he was bedded down for the rest of the day.
As the main road was quite busy even late into the evening, it was decided it would safest to release the badger in the early hours of the morning. Rescuers Trevor, Ellie and Victoria collected the badger at 1am and drove the 15 minutes journey to Uckfield for the release.
“Badgers are very territorial so we can’t just move the badger into the countryside and release it as you could be releasing it into the neighbouring territory of badger, and they would seriously injure or kill the badger given a chance, so we had no choice but to release the badger where found” said Trevor.
The badger was placed at the side of the road and given a few minutes to get its bearings before being released.
“The badger ran off like a rocket, he clearly knew where he was and we were pleased he didn’t run off along the main road too, we hope he stays safe” said Trevor.