Monday, 30 May 2011

Court Case, Keeper Snares and Shoots Sow Badger.

This skull was found in woodland at Menethorpe, near Malton.
It is the skull of an adult badger with a clear bullet fracture .
Alarm bells rang and the tenant farmer, myself and PC Jez Walmsley the Wildlife Crime Officer at Malton were concerned. The land was keepered by David Stephen Welford of Whitegrounds near Malton.
In September 2010 a dead badger was just visible in an ancient badger sett at Menethorpe.

I went to look and pulled from the sett this adult sow badger.
She had a thin blue bruised snare line on her belly and a blooded face.
I took her for examination and x rays to Mike Jones , vet at Battleflatts, Stamford Bridge, York.
The x ray clearly shows a 2.2. bullet had killed her. She was shot at close range through the eye downwards to the throat.
This beautiful adult sow had been snared illegally and shot very close to her sett.

Welford admitted to snaring and killing the badger.
His excuse was she was too badly injured to survive and shot her. She had a bruise and at the post mortem this thin bruise was her only injury from the snare.
It is illegal to set a snare close to a badger sett, she was snared 12 metres from her home.
After months of the court process Welford eventually pleaded guilty and was fined £385 and £100 costs.
The life a badger is worth £385, shameful.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Badger Cub

This little boar badger followed a dog walker early last Saturday morning in North Tyneside. They rang The Badger Trust for advice.
Lesley from Durham Badger Group went out to have a look.
She tried to return him to the nearest active sett. By now he was very tired and laid down and went to sleep , refusing to go to ground.
Lots of phone calls and conversations occured and we met up off the A19 and the cub came here for some rest and rehab.

He weighed 1646g and had tiny teeth so only just at the weaning stage. He would not take to a bottle so was rehydrated and left to rest in a warm pen under a heat lamp.
Various food items were left in the pen and he took to powdered esbilac milk with baby rusk and honey, they love sweet things.He also ate some tinned and soaked complete dog food.

He needed warmth and rest and good food.
He was taken for a blood test a couple of days later.
The protocol for hand reared badger cubs is to test them for tb 3 times, at least a month apart, and all tests must be negative before they are released in groups in late summer, early autumn. Cubs are given thier first test before introducing them to other orphan cubs for rearing. Badger cubs must be reared together as single cubs can imprint very easily on thier human carers and then cannot live the wild life they were intended for.

As expected his test was negative, we do not have tb in badgers in the north.
He needed badger company and there are very few trusted centres that can care for cubs in the right and proper way.
He went to the RSPCA wildldife hospital in Stapeley, Cheshire. They seemed to be a miserable lot when I arrived there, let's hope they care for the wildlife better than they treat the humans transpoerting them.
He should do well and will be housed with other cubs which makes all the difference.
It was a pleasure to have him here for a short while, badgers will always be special to me.