A badger had to be rescued from a storm drain under the driveway of Uckfield Rugby Club this morning.
“East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) was called to Uckfield at approximately 9:45am after reports of two dogs having an altercation in the drain with what turned out to be a badger. This is likely what attracted the dogs to go into the drain. We understand that one dog may have suffered injuries because of the badger defending itself and feeling threatened” said Trevor Weeks Operations Director of East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (East Sussex WRAS).
Two ambulances from East Sussex WRAS attended on site including WRAS’s technical rescue ambulance. “The tunnel made up of a concrete pipe, about 18 inches wide, under the road was about 9-10 metres long. We could see the badger about halfway along. Luckily the drainage ditch was dry,” said Trevor.
“We positioned a badger transportation cage at one end of the pipe and used our long extending rescue poles to attempt to push the badger through and into the cage. This was not easy due to the ground level and angle of the embankment making it difficult to extend the poles easily” said WRAS rescuer Kathy Martyn.
The initial plan was to encourage the badger out into the cage, but the badger refused to leave the safety of the concrete pipe. “We taped a blanket to the end of the pole and tried again, but the badger was being stubborn and managed to get round the blanket. However, as a result we were able to pull the badger back towards the opposite end” said rescuer Stuart MacQueen.
“This end of the pipe was difficult to work at due to the slope of the ground and narrow space. I had to lay on the ground with my legs pointing up the embankment and my head down by the hole to see what was going on and stand any chance of getting a dog grasper on the badger. The space was too narrow for a cage to be placed. We were worried that if the badger decided to fight its way out it could cause me some serious injuries, and being upside down, I wouldn’t be able to get away quickly. As a result, Kathy held a ridged mesh door from the badger cage in front of my face in case the badger attempted to fight its way out and a blanket was used to help block up part of the hole. As the badger got close enough, I was able to reach with the dog grasper and get it over the animal’s head and get it secure,” said Trevor.
Stuart and Kathy then maneuverer the cage into a more suitable place for me to bring the badger out of the pipe and into the cage. Once in the cage the badger was released from the grasper and the door fully closed and secured.
“It was a difficult location to work at and one which required good teamwork between us,” said Kathy.
Stuart loaded the badger onboard WRAS’s veterinary ambulance and drove him back to WRAS’s hospital at Whitesmith where the badger was better assessed.
“There are some old territorial badger injuries to the badger’s neck and rump, and a couple of fresh wounds one of which is on the badger’s head. The badger is likely to be in WRAS’s care for a couple of weeks recovering. We should then be able to release the badger near where rescued,” said Trevor.
The badger is thought to be a juvenile possibly pushed away from its sett by the dominant female looking after this year’s young. East Sussex WRAS has been dealing with several badgers including ones from Hailsham and Brighton in the last few days under similar circumstances where juvenile badgers are exploring further afield, being more independent, and finding themselves getting caught out during the day time and in need of somewhere safe to sleep. “As a general rule they are not injured and just need to be left alone and they will make their own way off once its dark again. If anyone finds a badger in their shed or garage, they should not attempt to remove it during the daytime and leave alone until dark. However, if injured it is best to contact your local rescue service for assistance and advice,” said Trevor.
East Sussex WRAS is an award-winning community charity which relies on donation from kind and generous members of the public. Anyone wanting to help support WRAS’s work can do so online at wildlifeambulance.org, by calling 01825-873003, or by posting a cheque to East Sussex WRAS, Unit 2 The Shaw Barn, Whitesmith, BN8 6JD. Reg Charity 1108880.
Further information available on request from Trevor Weeks on 07931523958.
Photos taken by WRAS rescuer Kathy Martyn and local resident Sadie Brown. Video by Kathy Martyn.Share this!