Badger chases sports centre staff
26 May 2006 - BBC News
Staff at a Devon watersports centre are taking extra precautions when leaving
work at night after being chased around the centre's car park by a badger. The
3ft (0.9m) long animal, which lives in bushes near the Mount Batten Centre, has
charged at several people. It is thought it may be protecting its young and is
chasing away anyone who strays too close to its sett.
Managers said no-one had been hurt but added several people had been alarmed
seeing the animal come at them.
Those who have been chased include centre night watchman Glynn Webb and
barmaid Tamsin Parish. Miss Parish, 23, said she had "never seen anything move
so fast in my life" when the animal thundered towards her at the end of a shift.
She said: "It was just streaking towards me. I know it sounds silly but I ran as
fast as I could. I haven't been to the car park at night since. Now I insist on
getting picked up by the front door."
Night porter and former able seaman Mr Webb, 68, said he was also left shaken
after a run-in. He said he refused to believe stories from his colleagues that
the badger had no fear of humans until he encountered the animal himself. He
said: "I didn't believe a word of it because they're usually timid creatures.
But one night I went up there with my torch and there he was. I shone my
torch at him, and he retreated about 10 yards before turning round and spitting
at me. Then he just put his head down and charged. I was so startled I hit
my nose on my torch."
Centre manager Sue Pudduck insisted that the badger was not a danger to staff
or guests. She said: "No-one has been actually hurt - though I'm told it can be
a bit alarming when it comes running at you. As it only comes out very late at
night, we don't feel it's necessary to take any further steps. We're just going
to leave it alone."
Naturalists said badgers only became confrontational if they felt their young
were threatened, or if they were going senile.
In the UK it is an offence to kill, injure or capture a badger, or to
interfere with its sett.
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