'Exhausted' badger and cub rescued from Mobberley drainage shaft

Drainage shaft and badgers Image copyright RSPCA/PA
Image caption The RSPCA said it was not clear how long the badgers had been down the shaft

An "exhausted" badger and its cub have been rescued after falling down a drainage shaft, the RSPCA has said.

A dog "sniffed out" the animals late at night while out for a walk with its owner near Mobberley, Cheshire.

A spokeswoman said as the shaft was 10ft (3m) deep, it was a "remarkable" discovery in a "remote location".

The badgers were rescued by animal collection officer Emma Dwan, who said she used specialist equipment to "scoop up" the pair.

Image copyright RSPCA/PA
Image caption The badgers were taken to an animal rescue centre to rest before being released

Ms Dwan, who arrived at the scene just before midnight on 23 May, said it took about two hours to get them out.

She said the rescue was "difficult" because the badgers were "so deep".

"They must have been walking along at night and simply fallen in," she said.

"I had a specialist pole which I used to first scoop up the cub and then eventually I managed to get the sow, but this was difficult as she was so exhausted, she wasn't moving much."

The badgers were taken to the RSPCA's Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, near Nantwich, for rest before being released back into the wild.

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