Cleethorpes Wildlife Rescue has announced that volunteers have been assisting three badger cubs who were in a sett that was “unintentionally destroyed by an excavator.”

The rescue took nearly two and a half hours of “due diligence” before any intervention could be green-lit. Talks between rescuers and other groups and individuals such as Secret World Wildlife Rescue, The Lincolnshire Badger Group, East Yorkshire Badger Protection Group, Jean Thorpe CBE, and Humberside Police concerned how the rescue should be handled and to ensure the “next steps were the correct and legal interventions for the welfare of these cubs.”

In a statement, Cleethorpes Wildlife Rescue said that “in a very bad situation, the worker did the right thing by stopping all work and getting immediate help before taking any further action. They followed all of our advice and were devastated by what had happened. It is now up to Humberside Police to determine what their next steps are in this case.”

They go on to say that, “For us, our concern is always the welfare of the animals, and after careful consideration with all the services involved, the decision was made to take them from the destroyed sett in hopes of returning them to their mother.”

The volunteer-based rescue service set up a 4G wildlife camera in order to monitor the area and alert them if the cubs’ mother returned to the area, but sadly, no mother or other badger returned.

They are continuing to monitor the area in hopes that an appearance is made by the mother, but “the ability to return the cubs gets less and less” as each night passes.

To ensure the safety and welfare of the cubs, they are temporarily in the care of Jean Thorpe, CBE, who is a highly regarded expert witness for badger crimes and has “vast experience in badger rehabilitation.”

Wishes for the safety of the animals have been pouring out on social media platforms, with one user stating, “I hope these little fellas thrive and grow well and strong enough to go back to their own habitat.”

Another expressed their appreciation for the services involved in the rescue, saying, “Once again, terrific work and dedication from all of you. Thank you.”

A spokesperson for Cleethorpes Wildlife Rescue said that “as badger setts are protected, to disturb or destroy a set, without license – intentional or not – is in most circumstances illegal, we have an obligation to report such incidents to protect ourselves. It’s entirely up to Humberside Police – and potentially Natural England – on what they wish their next steps to be.”