We don't need a cull to reduce Badger numbers we are already deadly enough.This week just off the estate near a busy road I found this small badger, sadly deceased.
The poor sow didn't seem to have a mark on her. It is likely she was clipped by a car and then struggled to the verge and died of internal injuries. Injured animals often seek a quiet spot when dying and can travel some distance to achieve this.
You can tell the individual is female due to the prominent teat. I had believed that given the small size the sow was a yearling perhaps displaced by new cubs born in the sett during February and March but now I am not so sure, females often remain in the setts and males are more likely to move off.
Luckily despite the teat, there did not seem to be heavy with milk so I hope that there are no orphaned cubs.
A report in 2001 estimated that upward of 50,000 badgers are killed on the roads every year alongside 100,000 foxes and 100,000 hedgehogs (Mammal Society).
This was the first time I have had a chance to have a close up look at a badger and I revelled in her beauty and wallowed in my sadness. You can see clearly the pads on the feet that make the distinctive footprints and the powerful claws used for digging. Death is a natural part of ecology and I have posted before where I have found dead and dying animals, but such an individual as this is different, this one did not suffer a natural death. A death from starvation, disease or predation or even old age, this death was at the hands of a human, intentional or not.
On a side note, I have yet to have had a reply from Micheal Gove or Matt Western which is both disappointing and infuriating, in better news, however, I met with a local county councillor who has agreed to place the matter before the council cabinet, not that I hold out much hope that the county can do much.