Back in April, I rescued a very sorry-looking badger who I named Brandon, after the Warwickshire village close to where he was found (see A week in the life (Part 2)). He had a large wound on his rump which had been inflicted by another badger, he was emaciated, and scars around his neck and missing ears indicated that he had been in more than one fight during his life. However he had not quite lost the will to live and after a trip to the vet’s I took him to the Leicester Wildlife Hospital, in the hope that he would make a full recovery and then be able to go back to the wild.
Just under two weeks ago, Brandon was in the back of my car once more. With rump wound healed and body weight back to normal, this time he was heading for home.
As you can see from the photo above, Brandon is never going to be one of the world’s best-looking badgers. (I think I heard him say something similar about me!) The important thing of course is that he is alive and well.
Lying in the rescue cage in the back of my car, Brandon wasn’t exactly full of fight. He seemed quite placid in fact. He perked up a bit however as his cage was being carried to the paddock where he was to be released, and as he sniffed the air he seemed to realise he was back in familiar surroundings. Finally the cage was placed on the ground and the hatch at one end was opened. I grabbed one shot of Brandon as he decided what to do next. Then Brandon made his mind up and vacated the cage, taking the second chance that he had been given.
What happens next is largely down to Brandon. There is a very real risk that he will have another encounter with the badger who savaged him before. There is also the possibility that he may try to find a new place to live, which may lead to fights with other badgers. With his body weight now back to what it should be, Brandon may be able to give a better account of himself if he does get into another scrap. Or he may run away from danger and avoid fighting altogether. If he runs at the same speed at which he raced across the paddock on his release, I think he stands a good chance of staying out of trouble!