Badger found blocked up in damaged sett
An RSPCA inspector had to dig a distressed badger out of its sett after it had been illegally blocked up with piles of earth. Acouple had been walking on a bridleway near Morborne, outside Peterborough, when they spottedthatthebadgersetthad been interfered with, and then saw the stuck animal.
Theyalerted RSPCAInspector Justin Stubbs who came to the animal’s aid.
Hesaid: “Therewereatleast 20 entrances to the badger sett and every single one had been filled in with earth and sticks, probably within the previous 24 hours.
“Some of the setts showed obvious signs of where a spade hadbeenused. Thebadgerthat wasstuckhadbeentryingtodig her wayoutof the sett for a long time, but had become wedged between a triangle of thick tree roots.”
Thefemalebadgerhadmanaged to get its head, front legs, and chest out, but was unable to then moveforwards or backwards once its hips reached the roots. There were scratch markswhereit hadbeenstruggling over the roots.
InspectorStubbssaid:“Normally, when I approach a badger, even a badly injured one, it will try to escape and become very active. This one, however, to begin with put up little fight, indicating exhaustion. I had already called Cambridgeshire police for some assistance owing to how severe the virtual demolition of the settswas, and how serious an offence that is.”
Inspector Stubbs and two police officers spent an hour, on the afternoon of December 30, sawing at the roots, digging at the earth, and trying to increase the gap the badger was stuck in. Once free, the badger ran off into copse.
The RSPCA inspector added: “Had it not been for a couple of local walkers knowing enough about the local wildlife that they realised something was wrong, this badger would certainly have died. The fear and exhaustion it must have beensufferingfromwouldhave been awful.”
The RSPCA is appealing for information on who interfered with the sett. Anyone found guilty of the offence can face a fine of up to £ 20,000 under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
The badger pictured in its blocked sett by RSPCA Insp Justin Stubbs.