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Badger found in Taunton garden? No, it's bandit, the raccoon!
A WILDLIFE expert from Secret World was shocked when the badger he had gone to capture from a garden turned out to be a raccoon.
Andy Parr, wildlife release manager at Secret World Wildlife Rescue, received a call about a badger knocking over plants and splitting compost bags at a garden in Taunton.
But when he went to set up motion-sensitive cameras and trap the animal, he began to suspect he was dealing with something more unusual.
Andy told the Weekly News: “I’m a member of the Somerset Trust Badger Group, so I was called out to the property in Henlade.
“I spoke to the homeowner and, as she described the animal, I began to have my suspicions it wasn’t a badger. She said it wore a collar, leading me to think it was some kind of exotic pet which had escaped.
“Camera footage showed it had a ringed tail. It was very surprising but further images revealed it was, in fact, a raccoon.
“I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I’ve never come across a raccoon before.”
Neither had homeowner Lilian Beazley, who had been guessing what the night-time visitor to her garden could be with her husband, Kenneth.
She said: “We thought it could be a dog, or a fox, then decided it must be a badger. We contacted Secret World because it was startling our dogs.
“During the investigation the security light came on and I saw it was no badger. I was so surprised and I still have no idea where it came from.
“I’m glad he’s doing well at Secret World.”
Bandit, as he has been named, was taken to the East Huntspill rescue centre, where he is now being cared for.
Secret World animal care manager Sara Cowen said: “He has obviously been somebody’s pet and has managed well in the wild.
“Hopefully his owner will come forward so they can be re-united.
“He has a lovely temperament and staff and volunteers at Secret World have been happy to give him the fuss and attention he loves.”
Secret World is caring for many hedgehogs, foxes and badger cubs and food is running low.
To donate tinned cat or dog food call Debbie O’Keefe on 01278-783250 .