Injured badgers should not be moved or handled by members of the public as they can inflict serious injuries. Phone the HELPLINE 01892 543213 or one of the numbers shown below for advice and assistance.
Road Traffic Accidents
Badgers are the frequent victims of road traffic accidents. The majority of them are killed outright but many others remain alive by the roadside or crawl into nearby undergrowth.
If you hit a badger or see an injured animal in or by the roadside, put your hazard lights on and if possible, position your vehicle so as to afford protection for the injured animal from on-coming traffic. If you keep a reflective tabard in the car, put it on, as there is a very real danger from other road users who may not see you in the dark. Once it is safe to do so, check to see whether the animal is still alive. A gentle prod with a long stick is the safest way to do this, but do not use your hands or feet, as even mortally injured badgers can give a very serious bite.
If you can (keeping your hands well clear of its head) cover the animal completely with a coat or blanket, as this will help keep it calm and reduce the chance of it crawling further out into the road.
The following organizations also offer assistance:
Badgers Trust (Sussex) - 07910 198720
Badgers Trust (West Sussex) - 01243 825804
East Sussex Wildlife Rescue Ambulance Service - 07815 078234
RSPCA - 0300 1234 999
South Downs Badger Protection Society - 0777 1912927
West Kent Badger Group - 01474 703948
Adult female badger that was hit by a car. Came to us in a terrible state (collapsed and vomiting) and was rushed to the vet. Thankfully, she didn't have anything life-threatening. Her terrible looking body condition was due to old fight wounds and her vomiting was due to car sickness. She received a clean up and medication (including pain relief) and after a few days she was able to stand up again and has been eating constantly since!! Here she is relaxing after a big meal!
Do not put an injured badger loose in your car, even if it appears unconscious. They very often come round from their initial concussion, leading to a very interesting experience for the driver!
Remember, badgers are powerful animals capable of inflicting serious injuries so it is far better to be safe than sorry.
Badgers In Sheds, Stables, Barns And Outbuildings
Lone badgers are sometimes found sheltering in sheds, stables, barns and outbuildings. These are usually animals which have been involved in territorial fights with other badgers and being on the losing side, have often suffered serious injuries. Many are also old animals which have lost their place in the family group.
If you come across one, do not attempt to move or restrain it. Call the Helpline 01892 543213 for further advice. We will usually capture the animal and arrange for it to be seen by a vet.
Entanglement In Netting, Mesh, Rope Etc...
Badgers easily entangle themselves in netting, mesh or rope which has been discarded in an inappropriate manner. This can lead to horrific injuries and unfortunatly slow deaths, due to the restrictions placed upon the badger and the cuts the animal receives. Please follow the advice for Snares listed below.
PLEASE TAKE ANY RUBBISH HOME AND DISPOSE OF IT APPROPRIATELY
The vets examine the damage done to this badger by the plastic mesh wrapped around its body
The wounds have been cleaned at the vets
After several weeks rest and care the female badger is standing up and tucking into her dinner!
After almost doubling her weight, here is the female badger looking much better the night before her release
Badger cubs are often left orphaned when their mothers have been killed in road traffic or other accidents. If the cubs are large enough (around 6-8 weeks old) they will sometimes make their way to the surface of the sett, and if very lucky, may be found by a member of the public (often someone walking their dog). By this time though they are usually in very poor condition and need immediate treatment if their lives are to be saved. Even small badgers can bite, so it is best to pick them up in a coat or similar item of clothing.
Call the Helpline 01892 543213 for advice.
Some orphaned cubs (especially the older ones) will sometimes survive for several weeks out on their own and are often seen wandering around in daylight hours, looking for food. They usually have very poor coats and a debilitated look about them, but can still be difficult to catch, so if you come across one, it's best to phone for assistance. If you do decide to capture one of these cubs yourself, take care, as they can give a nasty bite and shouldn't be handled without very stout gloves or a large towel or coat. A cat basket is the best thing to contain one in.
Female badger cub found out on her own. Rescued and brought to us by Pat and Jeff Hayden from Badgers Trust Sussex. The badger cub was about 6-7 weeks old and weighed 1271grams. She was unusually white in colour
Our original 'white' badger with a normal coloured badger boy
Older cubs will often come above ground in late April and May to explore the area around the sett and will even do this in daylight. This is normal behavior, so do not attempt to pick one up (you will also get bitten!)
Slow, dehydrated looking cubs (often with poor coats) found wandering in the daytime, should be reported immediately, as they may be sick or injured. They can be restrained (with care!) using a thick coat and then transferred into a cat or dog carrying basket until you can get help.
Badgers are sometimes found caught in snares. If you come across one, do not attempt to free it, as you will be bitten. Additionally, an animal in a snare will have severe compression injuries that will require immediate veterinary treatment. If you can do it safely, cover the animal’s head with a coat, as this will help to calm it, but do not put yourself at risk. Otherwise keep well clear of the animal as this will help reduce stress (it doesn’t know you are trying to help it) and call the Helpline 01892 543213 for advice.
This female badger was found trapped in a snare. Snaring badgers is completely illegal. The vet had to cut the remaining snare free from around the badger's body (you can see the white line in the fur behind her front legs where the snare had cut into the skin). From the amount of damage and the condition of the badger, it was estimated that she'd been trapped for at least 72 hours
This badger made a full recovery and was released back into the wild!
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As well as illnesses and injuries the species is now seriously threatened by loss of habitat and housing developments, increased road traffic and unsympathetic farming practices