A badger had to be rescued from the bottom of a sewage treatment tank in Uckfield
He was rescued yesterday after falling overnight.
The black and white nocturnal animal fell more than 10ft into the bottom of a thankfully empty circular concrete treatment tank at Southern Water’s treatment plants in Uckfield.
Staff on site discovered the badger around 9.30am and alerted the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (East Sussex WRAS) who quickly dispatched experienced rescuers Trevor Weeks MBE and Keith Ring.
“These rescues can be tough, and we weren’t quite sure what we were going to face when we arrived. The initial report was that the badger was shallow breathing and may have been in poor condition,” Keith said.
Once there, Southern Water staff provided Keith and Trevor with a ladder so they could descend into the reservoir with lifesaving equipment. Keith used a bright yellow stretcher to help encourage the visually impaired badger towards Trevor so he could catch the badger in a net. Once caught, the badger had to be locked in a transport crate. “That’s easier said than done because badgers are very strong animals. They don’t have chamois like foxes and so can be difficult to control,” Trevor said.
Once in a cage, the rescuer had to lift the badger out of the tank to safety using a rope and the ladder.
The badger was then transported in one of the WRAS vet ambulances to the East Sussex WRAS Rescue Center down the road in Whitesmith, where he was checked by their Lourdes Cortes Saez MRCVS vet. “The badger is in good condition and obviously not worse for his fall in the tank, so there is no reason for him to remain in care. It would not be prudent to release him during the day, so our rescuers released him late when the roads are calmer and it’s safer for him to run home.
Rescuers returned to the A22 next to treatment works in Uckfield late Monday evening to release the badger into the wild. “The badger could have come from any direction and as we wouldn’t want him run over, the safest place to release him was by the side of the road where he can cross in a controlled manner in safety.” , said Trevor Weeks MBE, founder of East Sussex WRAS.
“Many thanks to the helpful staff at Southern Water for noticing the badger and calling us immediately. This badger was very lucky not to be seriously injured, but thanks to the quick actions of Southern Water and our rescuers, we were able to ensure the badger’s safe rescue and return to the wild,” said Trevor.
Southern Water thanked the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service team for coming to the site so quickly and freeing the badger and said they were delighted with the positive result and to hear the badger had been released unharmed shortly thereafter.