Thursday, 12 May 2011
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.