A PAIR of bumbling badgers fell in to septic tank hole while they were foraging for food.

Marija Bichan, who lives in Underhill Lane, Ditchling, was surprised to find the distressed animals in the garden of her home.

She said: “I had a large hole dug for a new septic tank.

“In the morning, I was checking on the work area and saw that two badgers had fallen in overnight.

“I felt sick, as one of them had some blood by their ear and they weren’t moving much.

“We had left a ladder in the hole overnight, but then went to find a long plank of wood to see if they would come up by themselves.

“In the meantime, I rang the RSPCA and they said they would send someone.”

Animal collection officer Julie Parsons arrived and climbed down into the pit to rescue the badgers.

She managed to capture both badgers and carry them safely out of the hole before checking them over for injuries.

Marija added: “Julie arrived within the hour and she was amazing. She managed to get the first one into the cage and Dave the digger man pulled the cage up and out of the hole.

“She let the badger out around the back of the garage and he ran off very quickly. Julie went back down to get the second one and she was running around a bit more.

“Again, she got hold of her using a grasper and popped her into the cage with a bit more of a struggle.

“Dave pulled the second badger up and they let her go.”

Ms Parsons said: “I checked both badgers over and, despite one of them having some blood staining around the ear it looked like the wound was superficial.

“They didn’t require veterinary treatment so I decided to release them there and then.

“It was lovely to see them trotting back off into the undergrowth.

“I just hope they’re a bit more careful and look where they’re going next time they go searching for food.

“If you find an injured, sick or trapped wild animal, please keep a safe distance and contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency line for advice or help on 0300 1234 999.”

Badgers and their homes, which are called setts, are protected by law. Expanding urban areas are built on existing badger territories, which may mean that they enter gardens as they look for food, or find that their home is now in secluded areas of gardens or recreational land.

The RSPCA recommends the long-term solution to discourage badgers is to remove access to what attracts them, for example food or shelter.