25 October 2019

This blog hasn't had an update for some time, mainly due to a lack of badgers. Our badger "supplier", the Kildare Animal Foundation, has successfully released many rehabilitated adult badgers back into the wild–mainly animals injured on the road. Invariably, and rightly, they are released back where they were found and they usually disappear quickly showing clear signs of familiarity with the location.

Accordingly, we've released only young badgers. Last year we had none, but we have had visits from at least one recognisable former resident (she hops) and this year, for the first time, we've had visit from an adult with cubs.

Visitor with cubs

A few months ago, we released a pair of rehabilitated badgers onto some nearby land (with permission). Both had been rescued as cubs but, alas, they were not together in any sense. They didn't interact with each other (no playing). Neither stayed, nor did we see them again – one was recognisable, having had a nose injury (it was rescued from an attack by a dog).

As usual, they were vaccinated and microchipped and, who knows, they may turn up someday. However, they did, thanks to all involved (you know who you are), get a 2nd chance at life in the wild. And not just that, but in an area where a good number of the wild badgers are vaccinated and where they should be safe from both illegal persecution and from culling (a microchipped badger is a vaccinated badger).

Meanwhile, part of the roof the original sett occupied by our first rescue badgers has fallen in – the master bedroom apparently, judging by the piles of bedding visible beneath.

In advance of the arrival of our latest badger I made some repairs to the sett, covering over the hole with some netting and a sturdy plastic sack, then covered it up with earth and leaves. Of course, the ground hooks to secure the netting and plastic were put in sideways or it would be less suitable as temporary shelter (who needs a roof with spikes!). The underground accommodation isn't likely to be very extensive though it has previously had 4 badgers living there. The ground is quite stony, so far from ideal for excavation.

A little roof repair in progress

Today's badger – one only, this time – arrived on an appallingly wet day. We moved to the basement to do the needful and decide on a name. It turned out that "Dinny" was taken, so microchip nr 0189 was assigned to "Roger".

Roger is a young badger in fine fettle, with, as yet, none of the scars of adult life – chewed ears, worn incisors, hard and cracked paws. This is because he is, we were told, a "very special badger". That is, a badger who was hand-reared from a tiny cub, small enough to fit in one's hand. Happily, he is now wild, and will not approach humans.

He recovered from his anaesthetic quite quickly. At first he curled up to sleep in the back of the recovery box. Later, at dusk, he disappeared from his recovery box down the entrance to the sett that will be his home for the next few weeks.

There will be some updates.