A badger and her cub have been rescued after falling down a 10ft-deep drainage shaft.
The mother and her young cub were discovered late at night in a field in Mobberley, near Knutsford in Cheshire, when they were sniffed out by a dog.
The dog’s owner tried to rescue the pair before contacting Wirral and West Cheshire Badger Group, and when they were unable to reach the stranded animals the RSPCA was called in.
Animal collection officer Emma Dwan was sent to the scene just before midnight on May 23.
She said: “It was difficult because the badgers were so deep in the drainage shaft. They must have been walking along at night and simply fallen in.
“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.
“We have no idea how long they were down there but it was lucky they were found when they were and it was such a remote location it really was remarkable they were discovered.”
By 2am the pair were freed and they were taken to the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, near Nantwich, for rest and rehabilitation before being returned to the wild.