This is the moment a woman had to flee a petrol station after being terrorised by a badger.
Molly Padget had just picked up a curry on her way home from work when she stopped at the Shell garage in Stafford.
She said: ‘There it was. I was scared […] when he chased after me, I dropped my curry trying to get away by going down two different aisle, he was always close behind until he went into the bathroom.
‘A police officer walked in and saw it, but then just turned around and walked back out. It’s the first badger I’ve ever seen alive.’
She added: ‘None of the other staff members saw the badger come in, but when they did they all screamed.
‘Then a random man asked for a brush and said he hadn’t had his TB jab, but would have a good crack at ushering the badger out, which he did.’
Badgers and their burrows, known as setts, are protected under UK law. Disturbing badgers or treating them cruelly is punishable by up to six months in prison and an unlimited fine.
There are, however, no legal provisions against encouraging a badger to leave a petrol station by use of a broom.
The UK’s largest land predator, badgers are nocturnal and furtive creatures by nature, meaning seeing one up close as Padget did is actually very rare.
A badger’s first instinct on encountering humans is usually to retreat to the safety of its den, which is why the animal may have made for the loos when it was spotted.
In 2013, a campaign was launched to cull England’s badger population in an attempt to prevent bovine tuberculosis among cattle – a disease badgers are known to spread.
Since the policy was first introduced, almost 200,000 badgers have been killed.
Last year, the UK government announced it would stop issuing culling licences.
However, conservation coalition Wildlife and Countryside Link has warned the UK’s badger population may decline by half before the policy runs its course.
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