A six week old badger cub was rescued by The North East Essex badger group Members Sally & Den Jameson. She was found outside a badger sett at Finchingfield after her mother was killed in a road accident. A member of the public alerted us via the Badger Hotline, when she discovered the tiny badger, screaming, close to the sett entrance.
At six weeks old a cub would normally stay underground patiently waiting for its mother to return to feed it, but this little badger waited in vain until hunger forced her out to cry out for food.
The cub was picked up and taken immediately for a health check to The Veterinary Practice in Braintree, where Vet Robin Creighton treated her for dehydration, but confirmed that otherwise she was fit. Judy Massie then stepped in to look after the cub and bottle feed every four hours through the night.
So the search started for other orphan cubs that she could be raised with. Secret World suggested Wildlife Aid in Leatherhead Surrey, who had taken in a male cub just a few days previously and were on the lookout for a companion for him as he wasn’t doing very well without other badgers for company.
The very next day the little badger made the trip to Leatherhead, sleeping soundly, and there she was introduced to Frostie (all Wildlife Aid orphans are being named after breakfast cereals this year) and quickly became known as Coco ( for Coco Pops).
It was amazing to see the excitement when the two little orphans met, snuggling in to each other, rolling about play fighting and making the usual wickering noise badgers greet each other with.
Just one day later Wildlife Aid reported: Both badgers are now interacting beautifully, playing and mock-fighting, and Coco’s excellent appetite has started Frostie eating more enthusiastically – he was a bit shy of being bottle fed to start with. They are now consuming a healthy meal three times a day consisting of a bowl of chicken and sausage mashed with Esbilac, a bowl of baby rice pudding and egg custard, mixed with rusks and custard creams and a bowl of milk. These are hungry badgers!
The whole event was filmed for use in a future Wildlife SOS TV programme – so keep an eye out on Animal Planet channel. We’ve also been able to watch the progress of the badgers on the Widlife Aid Webcam. NEEBG made a £500 donation to Wildlife Aid in recognition of the work they do.
Eleven more orphan badgers gradually arrived at Widlife Aid, including little Shreddie who sadly died. All tested negative, no less than three times, for bTB and potential release sites were sought. Six months on, Coco and her new brothers and sisters are to be released at two sites in the Sussex area.
If you’d like to help us look after Badgers in North East Essex:
Contact the Badger Hotline: 07751 572 175 or visit The North East Essex badger group website: www.neebg.co.uk