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Baby badger saved from Dog's Jaws

02 March 2006 - BBC News

A month-old baby badger has been saved from the jaws of a terrier after the dog snatched it from its sett.

The terrier's owner prised the badger from his pet's mouth and took him to the Wildlife Aid centre in Leatherhead. The baby badger, named Charlie, is being bottle fed every three hours on a solution of milk and honey.

"It is not a chore, he is absolutely gorgeous," said head nurse Sarah Cowen, one of three staff who take Charlie home to feed him through the night.

Charlie, whose eyes are not yet open, is one of the youngest baby badgers the centre has cared for. It takes in between five and 12 babies a year, but usually they are over 14 weeks old.

"Normally they do not leave the sett until then," said Ms Cowen. "They wander off and can't find their way back or something happens to their mother and she cannot get back to them."

Ms Cowen, 39, who is now known as "Charlie's mum" at the centre, said it was the start of the badger orphan season. It will cost Wildlife Aid about 400 to care for Charlie, who will be released into the wild in late September or October if he makes good progress.

First, an artificial sett will be built at the centre for him and the other rescued badgers. From there the badgers move as a group into a sett built for them in the wild, usually on private land belonging to a sympathetic landowner.

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