On Saturday the 27th of March Pieter did his normal evening round and came back through the back yard.
The dogs were chasing something and suddenly Pieter heard squeaking. Mother badgers are not dragging their cubs around when they are so little so it must have been a fox or something that had taken it out of the burrow.
He saw a little badger cub lying on the ground. His eyes were still closed so very young so he came in to tell and I went straight out. The poor thing was screaming very loud. Probably to call his mum.
Pieter said we leave the cub in peace so mum might show up. We waited an hour and we went back.
We did not heard a beep so I thought he was gone.
I took him with me to bury him in the garden next morning. I was about to put him in the garage when I saw a little bit of movement in one of his legs.
Pieter went to bed and I prepared some small blankets and a warm water bottle to warm him up and after an hour he began squeaking again. I was so relieved!!! The little critter was alive. I could not be happier.
I put him with the blankets and the warm water bottle in a crate in the office so no one could reach him (read cat and the two dogs).
He slept the whole night throw without making a sound. The next morning I went to a gardening store where they also sell pet stuff. That was my best option. Every other pet store is closed on Sundays. They had a lot of things to choose from. I had read that badgers tolerated goat, sheep, kitten and dog milk. They did not have goat milk and milk for dogs. The milk for lams came in 25 kg so I bought the kitten milk and started given him that. That was a struggle and slowly he began to drink.
He gained 100 grams the first week. I was so very proud.
On that Sunday I also made contact with a badger wild life organisation in the Netherlands and they knew that Das&Boom had successfully raised a cub last year. So she called me back and have in daily contact with her ever since and that was a great help.
On wednesday Dirk got a nasty cough and I was afraid he had pneumonia and send sound files to Das&Boom. They did not think it was pneumonia and asked me to contact a vet.
Well, here where it gets nasty, in my eyes.
In Sweden a vet is not able to help you with some kind of wild life. In my case they are not allowed to help you with the medical aspect of a badger. I had read that you had to give him up after 48 hours. I also read that it is illegal to keep a cup but you can have a badger as a pet! In my brain that sounds not logical. Badgers are seen in sweden as pests.
I also had been in contact with a wild life organisation in Sweden and they advised me to contact a hunter and put the animal out of its misery. A vet is not allowed to euthanize a badger! That was a shock to me, really! So if I had turned him in, he would have been put to sleep. Well, not on my watch!
He was gaining weight and really doing well. He was pooping and peeing like he should, so why would I want to put him a sleep?
I adored him, he made such funny noises. It was really adorable.
So back to the cough. Vets were not allow to help and I went back to the internet to searched for alternatives and found out that propolis might do the trick. I made a little to someone I know had propolis tincture and give him two drops.
He seemed to respond to it very good. Last night though he was breathing heavily and had a different squeak then normal.
I had made him a sack to carry him with me and he loved it. Very early this morning I checked him out and he was already gone.
I did not expect this at all. I was devastated. I cried a lot this morning. I buried him in the woods and cried my eyes out. It was truly a wonderful experience to have been taking care of little badger Dirk and would do it in a heartbeat again. Tomorrow I would have had Dirk for two weeks and he had not opened is eyes yet. So he must have been about two weeks when we found the little guy.
How long do badger cubs stay with
When do cubs open their eyes?
Who much does a cub weight at birth?