The Kindness of Strangers

A month ago, Will and I undertook our first rescue with much trepidation. We’d learnt much from Jeff, but what is straightforward in theory is rarely so in practice. This was one of those rare occasions, but that in itself was a cause for sadness. The adult female badger valiantly tried to bite the grasper as Will got it round its neck but was too unwell to do much more than try. She didn’t make it through the night at Folly.

At the other end of the sadness scale are the two tiny cubs who were rescued that same Sunday. It was pure serendipity that we happened to be with Jeff when he got the call, and he was too polite to deny my unabashed self-invitation to tag along with him. He swiftly retrieved the ice-cold cubs from the hollow of the tree where they’d been found and, as he drove back to Folly, we managed to warm them up against our bellies. The hapless babies, barely bigger than the palm of a child’s hand, squealed and shrieked all the way back, and are now doing well under Folly’s expert care.

Our heartwarming memories of cuddling and warming up the baby badgers are tempered by sadness that the adult female didn’t make it, but what resonates most vividly about both rescues is the unexpected kindness of strangers. The lady who found the adult female badger in her garden, who loves to watch them foraging, her family who took the time to ring around various organisations for help (only WKBG would) while doing what they could to keep the injured badger warm and safe. The couple who discovered the cubs at the base of the tree, who watched over them until we got there, who kept the foxes away and hauled a tree stump over the open hollow to protect the cubs. Most people would do much less, and many would do much worse. So, as much as this is a reminiscence of a badger-filled Sunday, it’s also a thank-you to those kind strangers for helping to give orphaned cubs and injured badgers a fighting chance. And Jeff, you were right – the flea bites were worth it.


Badger cubs on their way to Folly:

Rescued cub being given some stimulation before her feed:

First feed after rescue: