Search

Oasis for threatened badgers

PUBLISHED: 16:22 25 February 2009 | UPDATED: 10:29 23 August 2010

CARE: Melissa Fiske with a rescued badger.

CARE: Melissa Fiske with a rescued badger.

BADGER baiting and snaring are still rife according to the leader of a campaign group that has reached a landmark birthday. West Kent Badger Group was formed 25 years ago to help persecuted badgers who now face the additional threat to their habitats fro

BADGER baiting and snaring are still rife according to the leader of a campaign group that has reached a landmark birthday.

West Kent Badger Group was formed 25 years ago to help persecuted badgers who now face the additional threat to their habitats from ambitious Thames Gateway plans.

The animals are being found in snares by the public and on farms with injuries caused from fights over territory.

An increase in road traffic has seen an increase in orphaned cubs as the parents go foraging for food because their traditional habitats are shrinking across north Kent.

Alex Hills, from Istead Rise, near Gravesend, who is trustee of West Kent Badger Group, said: "The practice of badger baiting is still going on and it's a terrible death for the badger. Their backs are broken and jaws smashed then dogs set on them to see how long they last, it's sickening."

He said that when new roads are built over badger paths they carry on using them out of habit causing additional stress and problems for badgers.

Most casualties found by members of the group in Dartford and Gravesend are sent to Folly Wildlife Rescue centre near Eridge Green, Tunbridge Wells.

Annette Risley has run the facility with her husband Dave Risley for 16 years and in 2008 they took 53 badgers, up from 41 in 2007. They are also helped at the centre by senior animal care assistant Melissa Fiske.

Cubs are nurtured until they weigh 16 kilos, virtually adult size, when they are released back into the wild.

Mrs Risley said: "Of all the animals we get here, badgers are the most labour intensive."

She said the cubs are fed bottled milk until they are big enough to go in outside pens where they interact with other badgers. A suitable release site is found away from main roads and an artificial set built surrounded by an electric fence. After two weeks the fencing is removed.

Mrs Fiske, who has been at the centre for five years, added: "There has been a big rise in the number of orphaned cubs. One of the most touching experiences was when brother and sister cubs were found trying to cross the road.

"They would have gone looking for their mother and the female cub had collapsed with exhaustion in the middle of the road.

"Her brother stayed by her side and was trying to nudge her across the road."

The pair had a happy ending, were nursed back to full health at Folly Wildlife Rescue centre and released together back into the Kent countryside in autumn last year.

The centre costs £1700 a week to run and is financed by donations from the public. For more information visit www.follywildliferescue.org.uk

WKBG is appealing for volunteers, contact Barbara Wilkinson on 01474 703948.

martin.sawden@archant.co.uk

0 comments

Latest News

A pub in Greenhithe has been given permission to extend its weekend opening hours despite concerns relating to noise and anti-social behaviour.

Yesterday, 11:19

Officers investigating a collision in Dartford after a vehicle failed to stop for police are appealing for witnesses.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Mayor of Gravesham cllr David Hurley led a crowd of cadets, scouts, brownies, councillors, members of Kent Police and more to Windmill Hill Gardens this morning (Sunday, November 11) in a procession to mark Remembrance Day.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Jamie Brown, of Archant Local Impact, explains how to make your business stand out from the crowd

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Pickled cucumber jars containing what is believed to be cannabis prompted Kent Police officers to arrest two men.

Most read

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Gravesend Reporter e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Gravesend Reporter twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24