Badger rescued from disused swimming pool near Hailsham

Volunteer Rescuers from East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS), were called out on the morning of 1 February after a badger became trapped in the bottom of a disused swimming pool.

This badger along with a second were originally spotted by the owners on Thursday, they placed a ladder and planks into the pool so the badger could attempt to climb out. Overnight one of the badgers managed to escape but one stayed behind, so WRAS was called to help the stranded badger.

Trevor Weeks MBE accompanied by Jamie Martin and Lindsey Redfern attended on site at 9.30am today (1st February 2013). The badger was curled up in a muddy corner of the swimming pool surrounded by bricks and other rubble and some vegetation. The owners of the pool had placed a tarpaulin above one corner to try and give the badger some shelter for the night.

Jamie and Trevor approach the badger using a catch net and dog grasper. "The badger didn't put up my of a fight, and Trevor was able to get the dog grasper round its neck quite easily, which was a bit worrying. He was clearly very wet, muddy and looked very cold too. We were concerned that if the badger had been out in the rain and exposed for too long he could be suffering from hypothermia" explained WRAS student rescuer Jamie Martin who is studying for an Animal Care and Management Level 3 Diploma at Plumpton College.

The badger was then secured in the badger cage and checked over to ensure no injuries. "Badgers are very strong animals and you have to be very careful when dealing with them, they could certainly give you a nasty bite if you handle them incorrectly. Trevor had to be careful with his footing on the rumble whilst using the dog grasper, but he was able to get the grasper round the badger neck and then hold the badgers rump to safely lift the poor creature into a badger cage." said WRAS student rescuer Lindsey Redfern, who is currently on a BSc Animal Science Course at Canterbury College.

The badger was then taken back to WRAS's Casualty Care Centre at Whitesmith where it has been bedded down and given antibiotics for a slight infection and wound to one ear. "The badger is in one of our large double hospital cages where he is being made nice and warm and comfortable. We will observe him for the next 24 to 48 hours and if suitable he will be released back in the garden where found. But I will give him a talking to and ensure he doesn't do this again!" said Trevor Weeks MBE founder of East Sussex WRAS.

This is not the first time WRAS has dealt with badger trapped in disused swimming pools. WRAS would never advise people to try and handle or rescue badgers themselves in these situations. "The best thing to do is contact your local wildlife rescue and they can check and advise what is best action, in some you wouldn't want the badger climbing out of the pool during the day time or it could end up getting run over as it crosses roads trying to get home in day light, so in these situations we bring them in and look after them till it is dark and the roads less busy before release" said Trevor, "some do injury themselves falling in and a period of observation is always useful to rule out any less obvious injuries."

It is hoped the badger will be released soon once fit and well.

WRAS rescuers are all volunteers, and the average cost to the charity of responding out of site to a casualty is £75.00. The charity relies on donation to fund its valuable work. Anyone wanting to support the charity can donate online, make a donation by ringing 01825 873003 or by posting a donation to East Sussex WRAS, PO Box 2148, Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 9DE.

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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks MBE - East Sussex WRAS: 01825 873003

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