British Wildlife Helpline

How to Help Badger casualties

Road Traffic Accident (RTA) victims

Most of the injured badgers found are RTA's. 
Many are killed outright but many are injured and can recover if treated promptly.
Next time you see a badger lying motionless in the road,  please stop and check it. 
If  it is alive, you may be able to help save it or at least minimise its suffering.

Carry a Rescue Kit

An old blanket or coat
Large plastic sheet
Stout stick or half a broom stick; hammer handle
Torch or multi-purpose lantern
Rubber gardening gloves (to wear while moving a dead badger)

If you see a badger but are unable to stop

If you find a badger on the road

Park sensibly near the badger to protect it from other vehicles without endangering yourself or other road users.
Put your hazard warning lights on; you mustn't endanger yourself or others.
A flashing emergency light placed between the badger and oncoming traffic will be a help

Examine the Badger
Is it dead or alive? This is not always obvious.
Using your stick, gently but firmly stroke the back of the badger's neck.
Keep your fingers well away - it may twist around suddenly and bite the stick.

Is there any reaction?
If it strikes out and bites the stick be very careful; cover it with a blanket top keep it dark and quiet.
If not, watch for movement in the chest and abdomen, indicating that the badger is breathing.
If unconscious, each breath may be long,  slow and shallow, so you need to be observant and patient.
Hold your stick by the badger's jaws and put one hand on the chest to see if you can detect movement.
If not, move your hand to the abdomen and see if you can detect a rise and fall.


If the Badger is still alive

Call for help

Ring your local Badger Group contact or the Police on 999 if the badger is a possible hazard

Badger Contacts

Be careful
Badgers have sharp teeth and powerful jaws to defend themselves.
Protect the animal from further injury by staying with it until help arrives.
If possible, put a flashing warning light  in the road between the badger and oncoming traffic.

Move the badger by taking hold of the loose skin at the neck and the rump.
Move to the verge or place on a blanket, coat or plastic sheet and lift this, rather than directly handling the badger.
Or you can roll the animal onto the cloth and drag this to the verge.
Cover with the blanket or coat to retain warmth until rescuers come.
Never try to lift a badger by the tail alone.

Leave it where it is if possible and wait for rescuers with equipment.
Cover with the blanket or coat to keep it warm.
If no-one can collect it and you have a suitable sturdy container, manoeuvre the badger into it, using a broom, grasper or blanket.
Contact the nearest Rescue Centre and immediately take the badger there for assessment and treatment.

No help available?

If you have to move the badger yourself, try and get a sturdy sack or a plastic bin with a lid, to contain the animal.
Tie up the neck or the sack securely or wedge the bin securely so that the badger can't get out into the car.
If there is no other possibility, bundle the badger in the blanket or coat

If the Badger is dead

Put your gardening gloves on if necessary and move the badger by taking hold of the loose skin at the neck and the rump.
Put the body well away from the road to beside a hedge or under shrubs if possible.
Notify the local Badger Group; they may want to examine the body, especially early in the year, in case it is a lactating female.

Trapped Badgers

Badgers can get trapped in a variety of places:
Swimming pools
Buildings and sheds

Help them escape
Observe the badger from a distance if possible.
If it is moving easily and seems healthy, try and provide an escape route:
A sturdy plank or ladder placed against a side wall will help them get out of a drained swimming pool or excavation.
Opening doors and windows at dusk will provide an exit route from buildings or sheds.

Take for Treatment
If it is limping, moving awkwardly or not moving at all, it will need to be examined.
Adult badgers are very heavy and muscular and ideally will need 2-3  rescuers with graspers to capture it.
Large cubs can also be difficult to deal with, especially when cornered.

Snared Badgers

They can have terrible injuries if trapped in a snare for some time and the pain and distress will make them dangerous.
Do not cut the snare wire unless the badger is securely held on a grasper as it may try and escape.
Cover the badger with a warm blanket or cloth while you wait for help.
Contact a Rescue Centre or Badger Group, give directions and wait for them to come and help.
They will secure the casualty with 1 or more graspers, cut the wire and take it for treatment.
If the skin is unbroken the badger will still need to be observed for 2-3 days in case it has internal damage.

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