Two badgers are lucky to be alive after falling into a slurry pit which was due to be filled with concrete.
The RSPCA were called after a juvenile, thought to be between four and six months old, and one adult, were discovered at the bottom of the large pit at Buckingham Business Park in Bourton Road.
There was no way they could have scrambled out without helpRSPCA chief inspector Rob Hartley
The large hole - measuring 12 x 13 x 8 feet - had been dug up for a slurry tank, where farmers put manure, and was due to be lined with concrete.
The workmen then spotted the animals at the bottom.
RSPCA chief inspector Rob Hartley said: “We think these two badgers probably stumbled into the pit, not realising it had been dug, and then couldn’t get out again, poor things.
“It seems likely that the young one fell, and the adult, probably a family member went along to try and help him.
“The sides of the pit were so steep, there was no way they could have scrambled out without help - it must have been terrifying.
“Thank goodness these workmen spotted them at the bottom - they weren’t that easy to see so they must have had pretty beady eyes.
“When we got there one of the badgers was curled up asleep in a corner - no doubt exhausted from trying to escape all night.
“The other had dug himself into the side wall and you could just see his tail protruding - he had dug quite far so it was almost like the Great Escape - he wasn’t far off the surface.
“Between two of us we managed to approach both of them and put them in a container with a grasper.
“They were clearly tired from trying to escape all night which made this easier, as badgers can be quite feisty animals and we would normally recommend members of the public are very cautious when approaching them.
“Both badgers were unhurt from their adventures - albeit a bit grumpy and indignant - so were released straight back to the wild.
“A track leading to the pit’s edge showed where they had come from.”
Anyone who comes across an animal in danger or distress should call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999.