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Badgers digging up human remains

14 December 2007 - BBC News

Pest controllers have been brought into a graveyard in Nottingham after human remains were disturbed by badgers. Bones from graves have been spotted at St Leonard's churchyard on Wollaton Road after badgers from a nearby sett started tunnelling. Reverend Jerry Lepine from St Leonard's Church said it had been distressing for family member who had relatives buried in the cemetery. But he added the badgers were being "moved on" humanely within a few weeks.

The cemetery opened at the beginning of the 20th Century and as the badgers have tunnelled through some of the older graves, bones have been pushed up to the surface.

Mr Lepine said: "There is a badger sett on the boundary of the cemetery and at certain times of year they're particularly busy and I'm sad to say, they extend their setts and tunnel through into the cemetery and human remains have been disturbed. It's very distressing for the families who have graves here but what we do if remains do come to the surface, is re-inter the bones in a reverential and appropriate way."

As badgers are a protected species, the process has been very "lengthy" and all the "proper permissions have been sought", Mr Lepine said. This means a wall is being put in place to prevent the badgers moving into the grounds, with the hope they will relocate to nearby Wollaton Park.

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