On 26th May I traveled to St Ives to visit Cornwall Badger Rescue and deliver our Network for Animals grant. While there I had the opportunity to meet two lively badger cubs who were being reared in Bob’s living room. Winnie and Wanda, as I was told they were called, had been rescued after their mother was killed by a car. It was hard to imagine these excitable cubs in the dreadful state Bob described, but here they were, healthy and approaching a time when they could successfully be rehabilitated into the wild. In the following extract Bob describes the process of rescuing and caring for the two badger cubs.
8th May. Penryn.
The RSPCA responded to a call at the Tremough Campus where three badgers had been seen in some difficulty. However, by the time we were involved only one was still present, found hiding under some shrubbery. We agreed to take it into care and the officer kindly brought it over to us. On arrival, this casualty proved to be a cub, 10-12 weeks old. She was in very poor condition, every inch of her full of fleas, her skin dry and scaly, her face covered with scratches and a cut on one ear. She was quickly sprayed to solve the parasite problem, which made apparent just how thin she was beneath her fur. We settled Wanda in a cosy bed made up in a puppy crate and gave her the time to recuperate.
12th May. Penryn.
Gardening staff in the grounds of Tremough Campus found a second cub, also in a very bad way. In the interim, the staff had found the mother badger who had sadly been killed after being struck by a car. The cub was treated for fleas then reunited with her sister. Winnie developed an abscess in her paw from a puncture wound into the pad which needed antibiotics, then suffered a tummy upset which was also treated by the vets. Despite these setbacks, the cubs did really well, gaining weight and improvement with the skin and coat. They soon transformed into lively, naughty little badgers – just how we like to see them! Once recovered, arrangements were made for the cubs to have blood and faecal samples taken at the vets to be analysed in the lab. The tests checked for Bovine Tuberculosis and Coccidia, which thankfully both cubs came back negative for. The all clear meant that on June 11th we were able to take Winnie and Wanda to commence their rehabilitation into the wild at Secret World wildlife rehabilitation centre.