Binfield Badger GroupProtecting Badgers in Berkshire
Charity number: 1075886
What to do if you find an injured badger, witness persecution, or suspect poisoning.
If you find:
please contact one of the emergency numbers below.
Please do not try to resolve the situation yourself in the first instance.
If you consider a wildlife crime is in progress, please contact the police on 999.
Please remember to prioritise your own well being.
RTAs are not the only way in which badgers end up injured and in need of attention. Badgers will occasionally inflict severe wounds on each other, especially boars engaged in territorial battles. The badgers that lose such fights sometimes end up taking refuge in some strange places. Even perfectly healthy badgers seem to have a talent for getting themselves into awkward situations.
Rescuers have been called out to deal with badgers found in locations including a barn, a lambing pen, and in the 6 foot deep concrete overflow channel of a reservoir - there were 2 badgers in the latter! Elsewhere, others have found badgers in swimming pools (empty and full), down manholes, in a public loo, and on the first floor of a police station, among other places.
Healthy badgers which have simply got themselves stuck somewhere just need to be released, or be given a means of escaping by themselves; the latter is preferable as it involves less stress for the badger. A badger that has fallen into an empty swimming pool for example, can usually extricate itself if a long plank of wood or a ladder is propped up against one side of the pool (at one corner of the pool, so that the entire length of the plank / ladder touches the side of the pool) and left overnight. Whatever the situation, it is best if you contact someone listed in the emergency numbers section at the bottom of this page, so that they can assess the badger's condition and take appropriate action.
Injured badgers which have 'holed up' in a barn or some such place may well need treatment before they can be released, and will need to be captured so that treatment can be administered. This obviously involves risks for the would-be rescuer and as with RTA victims you are strongly advised to call out someone from the emergency numbers section to deal with the badger.
Snares are usually set to catch rabbits or foxes, but they are indiscriminate killers and if they are placed near badger setts or on badger runs, badgers will get caught in them.
Badgers that get caught in snares can cause themselves terrible injuries as they try to escape, so it important that they are released from the snare as soon as possible. It must be stressed however that attempts to release badgers from snares involve great danger to both the badger and the rescuer. Snared badgers can inflict severe injuries on anyone trying to release them, and rescue attempts can also exacerbate the badger's injuries. You are therefore advised NOT to try to release a snared badger yourself, but to get help from someone listed in the emergency numbers section who has rescue equipment, as soon as possible. As with road casualty badgers, you should advise the person you contact exactly where the badger can be found and what condition it is in, and if possible you should arrange to meet them at a convenient and easy-to-find spot nearby and take them to the badger. If you can cover the animal with an old coat or blanket in the meantime, this may calm the animal and prevent it from making further attempts to escape and thus injure itself further.
Under no circumstances should a snared badger be released by cutting the wire between the noose and the stake, fence or tree to which it is attached, as the badger will then make off with the noose still attached and will suffer a lingering, painful death. The noose itself must be cut, and if it has cut deeply into the badger the animal may need to be put under general anaesthetic by a vet before it is removed. The injuries caused by the snare will then need veterinary treatment. Even if the snare does not appear to have caused any damage, the badger should ideally be kept under observation for a period of time after the removal of the noose, as snares often cause internal injuries which may not be immediately apparent.
(Reproduced from a fact sheet written by Steve Jackson, March 1995)