Cuan Wildlife Rescue is seeking donations to build an extra rehabilitation enclosure after an increased intake of orphaned badger cubs.
The Shropshire charity is currently caring for 24 cubs and urgently needs a new enclosure area to ensure they can be rehabilitated in time for an autumn release.
Approximately a quarter the size of a football pitch, the enclosure is vital for rehabilitation and will enable the cubs to get used to life in the wild in a controlled outdoor environment. Fully secured, the large enclosure will include an underground chamber and tunnel to mimic a badger’s natural home. The area also needs to include features such as shelter, logs, and soil, where the cubs can learn the skills to survive including digging for food and burrowing.
The enclosure costs up to £10,000, and with £3,000 raised so far, to donate visit the JustGiving donation site or by selecting the ‘Support us’ link on cuanwildliferescue.org.uk. Donations can also be made by bank transfer or cheque, by e-mailing email@example.com or calling 01952 728070.
“This year we’ve admitted more badger cubs than ever before,” says Deb Bolger, Community Fundraiser, Cuan Wildlife Rescue. “To rehabilitate the cubs, we urgently need to build a new enclosure. We can only do this with the generosity of those who donate and every penny received is a step towards the release of the cubs back into the wild where they belong.”
The badger cubs have been rescued following the deaths of their mothers, mainly caused by car impact as well as injury and illness. The abandoned cubs have been found in Shropshire and throughout Britain.
During Covid restrictions with people spending more time outside, a higher number of orphaned cubs have been found. Combined with Cuan Wildlife Rescue’s growing national reputation for badger rehabilitation, the animal hospital’s two existing outdoor enclosures are already full.
When admitted to Cuan Wildlife Rescue, cubs who are still weaning require round-the-clock care including bottle feeding every 2.5 hours, up to the age of around 12 weeks old. At that stage, the cubs are placed into increasingly larger pens before release into the large enclosures at around four months old.
In the large enclosure, human contact is minimised and a strict feeding regime is introduced including starve days to simulate conditions in the wild. In autumn, when the cubs have been fully rehabilitated, they are taken to a soft release site where they are released back into the wild after a short period of adaptation.
As part of their rehabilitation, every badger admitted to Cuan Wildlife Rescue is tested for bovine tuberculosis (bTB). If the badger is free of the disease, it is then vaccinated, meaning that Cuan Wildlife Rescue will only release ‘clean’ badgers. Badgers that have contracted bovine TB, as well as those that have spent time in close proximity to infected badgers, unfortunately have to be put to sleep.
Badgers have been a protected species in the UK since 1992.