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Badger rampage injures five

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13th May 2003 - BBC News

Badgers are usually wary of humans, but one rogue badger attacked five people during a 48-hour rampage in a quiet suburb.

One man required two skin graft operations, after the badger woke him up and attacked him when he went outside to investigate.

Other victims included a man who was attacked as he walked home from a pub, in Evesham, Worcestershire.

Mike Weaver, from the Worcestershire Badger Society, said: "I have never heard of anything like this in 24 years of work with badgers throughout the UK."

The badger, which is thought to have been injured, has been put down.

Pam Fitzgerald, said the attack on her husband Michael, who is still in hospital after the skin grafts, was like a "bizarre horror movie".

Michael Fitzgerald needed two skin grafts

She said: "We had gone to bed and we heard a noise in the garage.

"My husband opened the door and the badger sat there and then, gradually, just slowly walked towards him and attacked him.

"It caught him on his arm and, in the process of trying to get the badger off himself, he's lost quite a lot of skin on his arm and some of the flesh."

Mrs Fitzgerald said the badger also bit her husband's leg, forcing the couple to flee inside their house.

"It was terrifying because we didn't expect a badger to attack because we know that badgers, when they smell a human, will disappear," she said.

Mrs Fitzgerald added that her husband will have a lasting reminder of the attack.

"He's still in hospital... they've had to do skin grafts on both of his wounds. He will be very badly scarred."

The Worcestershire Badger Society finally rounded up the animal on Friday. I been involved with badgers for 24 years now and I've never heard of anything like thissaid Mike Weaver, a spokesman.

Mr Weaver said: "I was called out on Thursday night. A young man walking home, I presume from the pub, had been bitten by a badger."

The animal was nowhere to be seen, but early on Friday morning Mr Weaver received a call from police after it was seen chasing people.

"The police officer told me it had kept some of their officers at bay and indeed they had to jump on to the bonnet of a car to escape it."

Mr Weaver said it was extraordinary behaviour for an animal that is usually wary of people.

"Normal behaviour for a badger would be that as soon as it scented humans it would take off.

"My belief is that this badger had been brought up from a cub with people. The evidence for that is the fact that it had no fear of humans at all."

Mr Weaver said there was no need for people to start fearing an onslaught of badger attacks.

He said: "I've been in touch with other people who've been involved with badgers and they've never heard of anything like it.

"I would consider this to be a one-off incident and the people of Evesham and Worcestershire, and indeed everywhere else in the country should not be worried that this may happen again."

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