Mystery of the Monmouthshire cub
Found on Sunday 7th March 2020 by a dog walker on the side of a muddy footpath In Monmouth, Monty was in a pitiful state.
Tiny, freezing cold, wet, hungry and with closed eyes this little scrap clung to life as the dogwalker reported her find to Gwent Badger Group. After failing to find him at first, he was eventually located by two group members, wrapped in a blanket and taken to Marlows vets in Chepstow, squealing all the way there. He was cold to the bone and it was miraculous he was still alive.
Marlows responded magnificently with emergency veterinary staff waiting at the premises to assess the tiny creature. Originally thought to be a female badger, the name was later hastily changed from Bridget (found near a bridge) to Monty, (from Monmouth) a name more suited to a male. To be fair it is hard to tell the sex of badgers at this age so I am told. Monty was estimated to be three to four weeks old and weighed in at 690 grams. He was warmed up slowly and given Welpi puppy milk plus a health check.
A dedicated member of the Marlows veterinary team took Monty home that night to give him regular feeds of milk as his mother would have done. Fees were kindly waived except for the puppy milk.
It is difficult to know exactly why this little cub was found on a footpath, vulnerable to attack and hungry when of course he should have been safe and warm underground with his mother in their sett, not emerging until much later. Theories put forward are that 1) The sett was flooded. This is highly possible as Monmouth suffered badly in the recent floods. The sow badger may have been trying to move her cubs to safety and perhaps Monty got left behind? 2) A small dog went down the sett and pulled Monty out. Two small marks were later discovered on his neck – were they dog tooth marks? We may never know the truth. There was no evidence of any other badger cubs nearby or adults. Though it is believed a sett may be in the vicinity it was considered best to remove him to safety and comfort as it was a public footpath and he was in a bad way. The important thing is that he got good care.
The following day a response driver from Secret World Wildlife Rescue (SWWR) picked up Monty and took him to SWWR in Somerset where he was admitted and cared for by experienced staff.
A recent enquiry as to how Monty is progressing revealed that he is feeding well on Lectade, putting on weight and his eyes are opening. He is also noisy! A delightful foot note is that a recently rescued female cub from Herts and Middlesex Badger Group has gone to Secret World too, so Monty will have a companion.
SWWR is only admitting absolute emergency animal casualties at present due to the Corvid 19 lockdown and its fundraising activities have all been cancelled for the time being. It is expensive, intensive work rearing a badger cub so Gwent Badger Group recently made a donation of £300 to assist them. If you want to make your own personal extra donation towards Monty’s care or the other wild animals there who need care too their contact number is: 01278 783250 They do a fantastic job in difficult circumstances.