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1 September 2016, 15:19
A badger was rescued by the RSPCA after falling down a five-metre drop into an empty septic tank.
The mammal was spotted running around the bottom of the tank, at Thames Water, in Aldenham, Watford, on the morning of Friday, 19 August.
It is not known how long he had been there, but as badgers are nocturnal and there were no steps or alternative means of exit, it is thought it must have been since at least the night before.
The RSPCA was called and an officer managed to lift him to freedom using a net attached to a long pole.
Animal Collection Officer Kate Wright said: "The poor badger had quite a fall but he did not look injured, although he must have been very tired because it is likely he had been trying to get out for hours. The tank was empty so thankfully there were no harmful liquids in there. It was a delicate operation to get him out of there as we didn't want to frighten him. I carefully managed to slip the net around him and bring him back up. I checked him over and fortunately he was unhurt, so I was able to release him in a nearby field. I'd like to thank the person who contacted us about the badger, as we do rely on the public to contact us about animals in need. If it hadn't been for the call we received, the badger would have suffered down there in the tank."