Lucky Eros the badger will be safe from cull
In the current climate, with a controversial cull of his species imminent, he has to be one of the luckiest badgers alive.
Eros, who takes his name from the Greek God of Love, was born parentless and found close to death at just a few days old.
Now, after almost 12 months of tender loving care from his human handlers, he is back up to his full weight.
But such extended human contact has left Eros unable to survive alone as he has not developed the necessary skills to be returned to the wild.
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So, instead of potentially falling victim to the pilot badger cull being introduced in an effort to reduce the incidence of bovine TB in cattle, he will be staying as a guest at the Secret World Animal Rescue Centre, in Somerset.
Eros was found just a few hours old, abandoned in a field close to one of the trial cull zones in the west of the county in February last year.
Pauline Kidner, who runs the centre said: “He was unconscious, absolutely soaked through and suffering from hypothermia when he was discovered above ground.
“We suspect his sett was flooded and he was washed out. To be honest, we really didn’t expect him to survive.
“But he was nursed around the clock in those early days and fed with milk from a small syringe every three hours.
“Eventually he moved on to a bottle and gradually he started to thrive. Now his physical development is back where it should be.
“Unfortunately, his constant contact with humans means he has rejected all our attempts to isolate him ready to be freed, though.”
So, Eros will remain with 50 other similar rescue badgers at the centre in East Huntspill, near Bridgwater.
Pauline and her staff still pay regular visits to Eros, in order to prevent him becoming lonely.
She added: “If we had tried to release him back into the wild without any fear of humans it would have been dangerous for him and the public.”
It would have been a whole lot more dangerous though with an army of marksmen about to start shooting his wild counterparts.
A cull in the countryside in Somerset and Gloucestershire is reported to be imminent – and may even have begun.
Experts believe it will be necessary to kill 3,000 badgers in west Gloucestershire alone in an attempt to control the spread of bovine TB.
If the two trials are successful over the next four years the scheme will then be rolled out across the country.