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Five injured in badger rampage

13 May 2003 - 4 National News

Five people have been hurt after they were set upon by an aggressive and hungry badger which went on the rampage in Evesham, Co Worcestershire.

In the most serious incident, one man was hospitalised and had to receive two skin grafts to his arm following an attack on May 8.

The animal then managed to evade search teams for two days and chase off two police officers who picked up his trail. However, the badger was eventually captured by the Worcestershire Badger Society and put to sleep.

The renegade mammal was later identified as Boris, a one-year-old tame badger who had been released from the nearby Vale Wildlife Visitor Centre at Evesham Country Park on May 7.

Boris had been hand-reared and was hand-fed by staff at the centre on a daily basis and had apparently never shown any sign of aggression.

But the National Federation of Badger Groups (NFBG) believes that when Boris found himself "alone, hungry and frightened in a strange environment", he snapped.

"Badgers are powerful animals and we strongly advise against their domestication," said Dr Elaine King, Chief Executive of the National Federation of Badger Groups.

"Boris's behaviour was quite unlike that of a wild badger, which would have an instinctive fear of humans... It appears that someone hoped to take him for a pet and he was probably released when hunger made him aggressive.

"Boris's tragic encounter with strangers in an unfamiliar environment illustrates how important it is to allow animals intended for release into the wild to develop and maintain their natural fear of people."

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