When Claire Robinson and her daughter visited Cotswold Water Park last year, they were excited to go on a leisurely stroll around the park’s lush English grounds, observing the local wildlife. They had no idea that the animals they hoped to see would end up literally at their feet just a few minutes later.
“We’d parked up in a remote car park and headed out on a track,” Robinson told The Dodo. “We’d only been walking for five minutes before we saw a man coming towards us with the badger cub at his heels!”
The mother-and-daughter duo was taken aback, at first, by the badger cub’s presence on the track. It wasn’t the first time they’d seen an animal while walking through Cotswold — the park is known for its nature scenes. But the badger’s behavior told them that something was wrong.
“The cub, a baby girl, was making a squeaking noise and following the man,” Robinson said. “She wouldn’t leave him alone. She was biting his boot and was clearly in distress.”
On top of the badger’s persistence, the fact that it was still daytime raised even more red flags for Robinson.
“I knew it was odd to see a cub out in the daylight, and the way she wouldn’t leave the man alone indicated she needed something,” Robinson said.
Robinson and her daughter walked closer to the man, when, suddenly, the badger left his side and ran straight to them.
“As soon as we were near them both, the cub started chattering around our feet, and the man walked off and left us to it!” Robinson said. “She was chattering madly and trying to bite our shoes, but it wasn’t aggression. That’s what was so odd — she was trying to stop us!”
Robinson called a local wildlife center, Vale Wildlife Hospital, for advice on how to help the badger cub. After describing the cub’s behavior, the wildlife hospital confirmed Robinson’s suspicions: The cub was lost and needed to be rescued.
Volunteers at the wildlife hospital stayed on the line with Robinson and guided her through the rescue.
“I had to grab her by the scruff of her neck like her mum would do and wrap her in my coat,” Robinson said. “As soon as I picked her up, she stopped chattering and snuggled in my arms.”
With the badger cub safely in her daughter’s grasp, Robinson drove to Vale Wildlife Hospital. There, a team of experts gave the cub all the medical care and love she needed before she was ready to be released back into the wild.
“Vale Wildlife Hospital, who helped this cub is invaluable,” Robinson said. “They were brilliant and helpful, and I’d been lost without them when this happened.”
Before long, the cub was strong enough to go back to her home at Cotswold. Robinson hasn’t seen the badger since, but she’s comforted knowing that the once-distressed cub is now safe and thriving in her natural habitat.