Overweight badger falls 20ft into Hastings courtyard

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A badger fell more than 20ft down a wall into a concrete courtyard of a house in Hastings.

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) was called out on November 29 to the house in Old London Road. The female badger had fallen more than 20ft into the courtyard during the night when she was walking along a well-used fox and badger pathway running along the top of the wall. WRAS rescuers Trevor Weeks MBE and Stuart MacQueen attended.

According to WRAS, the badger was reluctant to move and it was a struggle to get her into a rescue cage due to her size. Badgers generally weigh between 8kg in the spring and 12kg in the early winter, but this badger was more than 14kg.

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Trevor Weeks said: “When we arrived, the badger was curled up in the corner trying to sleep after her night-time ordeal. We try to avoid handling badgers due to how strong and dangerous they can be to handle. In case of injury, we must be quite careful how we move them. The badger really did not want to move, and we were not sure if this was due to an injury or if the badger was just being stubborn.”

She was eventually taken to WRAS's Casualty Centre at Whitesmith near Lewes where she was checked over by one of WRAS's vets. No serious injuries were found and the problem was suspected to be muscular or due to her weight. The badger was given a few days to rest and recuperation and released back into Hastings on December 2.

Trevor said: "Our wildlife don't think about food in the same way we do, they are opportunists, and don't trust that a food source will be guaranteed and always present so will often overeat and fill themselves up in case other sources of food aren't present. In residential areas where people feed wildlife this is often leading to overfeeding and in some circumstances inappropriate levels of feeding taking place.”

WRAS recommends you create natural food sources by planting fruits/flowers/herbs in your garden rather than feeding badgers/foxes.