Badger is brought to safety uninjured after falling down lime kiln in Northumberland

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A badger who fell into a lime kiln in Northumberland was incredibly lucky to be spotted and escape serious injury, say the RSPCA officers who rescued her.

An eagle-eyed member of the public contacted the charity for help after spotting the stricken animal. She had tumbled about ten feet (three metres) into the kiln just outside the village of Shilbottle.

Due to the location and the nature of the rescue, two officers from the charity attended the scene and used a ladder to descend into the structure.

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The badger, who is believed to have been female, had started to dig herself a tunnel into the soil at the base of the kiln and would not have been that easy to spot, said animal rescue officer David Dawson.

A young badger. Picture by John Peters.A young badger. Picture by John Peters.
A young badger. Picture by John Peters.

After putting a portable kennel against the side of the building, his colleague, inspector Lucy Green, carefully approached the mammal with a special grasper.

Thankfully, the badger made her job easy by running straight into the kennel, which was then secured and lifted out of the kiln by David.

He said: “She was reasonably camouflaged because she’d started to dig a tunnel into the soil and was only really partly visible. The man who saw her was likely to have been passing at the time, so she was very lucky to have been spotted and of course there’s no way of knowing how long she may have been trapped down there.

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“She literally seems to have walked into thin air and then fallen into the kiln. It’s quite a drop, so she was also fortunate not to have injured herself in the process and she certainly shot off down the hill and into the undergrowth fast enough as soon as we released her.

“I’d say it was one of the more unusual locations I’ve rescued a badger from and we’d like to thank the concerned and eagle-eyed member of the public who contacted us.

“It could easily have been a different outcome had she not been seen and we hope she avoids escapades like this in the future.”

If you encounter a wild animal you think needs help, call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999 or go to