The unlikely story of the badger who fell off a cliff and was rescued on a kayak
A routine kayak tour in Cornwall took on a different vibe when it turned into a badger rescue mission.
The man at the heart of the action is Tom Wildblood, 42, who runs a guided kayak tour with his wife from St Agnes.
Usually it’s grey seals in their natural habitat that the tour offers a glimpse of, but on this particular day tour-goers met a creature you really wouldn’t expect to see in a cave.
“There weren’t many seals around that day,” Tom told the Press Association. “We were looking in this cave and my colleague Isaac spotted this little badger on a ledge. It was shaking and it was in a really bad way.
“We realised it had got to that ledge by falling off the cliff and scrambling up on to it. It was horrible to see so I got on to this ledge and was trying to put the badger on the back of the kayak, but it wasn’t having any of it. It was trying to nip me so I was backing away.”
The rescue mission was almost abandoned, with the cargo unwilling to co-operate after a traumatic experience, but another twist of fate came Tom’s way when a wave knocked the badger into the sea where he believed it would surely die.
“I grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and put it between my ankles at first, and we agreed with the group that I would paddle it back to the nearest beach,” said Tom.
If you thought rescuing a badger from a cave was brave, putting it in between your legs on the way back to the beach is next level.
“That was about five minutes before we landed on the beach,” said Tom. “It was getting a little bit too close, shall we say!”
The badger was taken to Trevaunance Cove Beach where a lifeguard wrapped it in a towel and put it in a cardboard box. The badger was taken in by a vet.
“We got a tweet back from the vet saying the badger’s doing well and they’re going to try and release him soon,” said Tom.
“It was remarkable, just being in the right place at the right time, really.”