The RSPCA is encouraging people to be alert and help local wildlife after a badger walked into a cobblers in Reading in broad daylight last week.
RSPCA inspector Nikki Denham was called to Caversham Cobblers on Bridge Street in Reading city centre last Friday (1 July). Staff were shocked at the rather unusual looking customer, as the male badger just walked right in off of the street at around 6pm and went and hid in a dark corner of the shop.
The badger had previously been spotted wandering around a car park nearby, also in daylight.
Inspector Denham said: “It’s so strange as not only was it daytime but it’s also really built up around there – it’s definitely not the usual place I would expect to find a badger. At first I actually thought it might have even been a prank!
“My thinking is that he must have just gone walkabout and ended up getting himself lost.
“He was a tough one to catch but as soon as he got into my van, he just snuggled down and when I went to check in on him he was all curled up snoozing! I think he just needed a nice kip, as he must have been away from his sett for some time and was trying to find somewhere comfy to bed down.
“He’s getting his strength up now he’s been rescued and so we are hoping he will be ready to go home – back in the wild – soon. We are in touch with a few local groups that monitor the local setts, so we are going to make sure he goes back to the right family. It’ll be a nice happy ending if they can be reunited again.
“It is very unusual to see a badger out in broad daylight like this though and seeing one could be a sign that something might be wrong. We would always encourage people to call us should they happen to see any unusual behaviour like this from more nocturnal animals such as badgers and hedgehogs.”
Anyone concerned about the welfare of any animal can contact the RSPCA on their national cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.
The badger is now recovering in the care of Wiltshire Wildlife in Salisbury, where, once he has reached full strength, he will be being released back into the wild.