A badger had to be rescued from the bottom of a wastewater treatment tank on Monday 7th February 2022 after falling in overnight. The black and white nocturnal animal fell over 10ft down into the bottom of a, luckily empty, circular concrete treatment tank at Southern Water’s treatment works in Uckfield.
Staff on site discovered the badger around 9:30am and alerted the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (East Sussex WRAS) who promptly sent experienced rescuers Trevor Weeks MBE and Keith Ring.
“These rescues can be difficult, and we were not quite sure what we were going to face when we arrived. The initial report was that the badger had shallow breathing and could have been in a bad way” said Keith.
Once on site Southern Water staff provided a ladder for Keith and Trevor to climb down into the tank with rescue equipment. Keith used a bright yellow stretcher to help encourage the poorly sighted badger towards Trevor so that he could catch the badger in a net. Once caught the badger had to be secured into a transportation crate.
“This is easier said than done as badgers are very strong animals. They don’t have a scruff like foxes so can be difficult to control” said Trevor.
Once in a cage, rescuer had to lift the badger out of the tank to safety using a rope and the ladder.
The badger was then transported in one of WRAS’s veterinary ambulances to East Sussex WRAS’s Casualty Centre down the road at Whitesmith, where it was checked over by their vet Lourdes Cortes Saez MRCVS. “The badger is in a good condition and clearly none the worse for his fall into the tank, so there is no reason for him to stay in care. It would not be safe to release him during the day, so our rescuers released him late at him when the roads are quieter and its safer for him to run back home.”
Rescuers returned to the A22 next to the treatment works in Uckfield late Monday night to release the badger back into the wild. “The badger could have come from any direction and as we wouldn’t want him being run over the safest place to release him was at the roadside where he can cross in a controlled manner safely” said Trevor Weeks MBE founder of East Sussex WRAS.
“A huge thank you to the helpful staff at Southern Water for noticing the badger and calling us in straight away. This badger was very lucky he was not seriously injured, but thanks to the quick actions of Southern Water and our rescuers we were able to ensure the badger’s safe rescue and return to the wild” said Trevor.
Southern Water has thanked the team at East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service for coming out to site so quickly and freeing the badger and said it is delighted with the positive outcome and to hear that the badger was released unharmed shortly after.
East Sussex WRAS is an award winning community charity established in 1996. The charity has grown from a one man band to a veterinary charity operating its own hospital, rehabilitation facilities and small fleet of veterinary ambulances across East Sussex. In 2021 East Sussex WRAS deal with over 4800 casualty.
The charity is currently looking to purchase land and buildings to set up a new and improved hospital as it has out grown it current site.
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