Councilor John Jones climbs into one of the badgers’ homes
Just like the residents of The Haven, a community for seniors in England’s West Midlands, the local badgers like big houses. The trouble is: they like their houses to be right under the human houses.
Human houses are now in danger of collapsing, and the rallying cry is now, “Kill those bad badgers.”
Dozens of badgers have been digging their homes, known as setts, in what they consider to be prime real estate: under hillside homes on the sandstone cliffs where the burrowing is easy.
Badger houses are in a whole different league from rabbit warrens or other burrows. They’re huge. Local councilor John Jones told the Daily Mail:
“They are huge great things and the holes they make are enormous. I am six foot one and over 210 pounds and I could get down one of them.”
In order to kill the badgers, however, the homeowners will need special permits, since badgers are a protected species.
Council leader Les Jones is playing it by the book, and consulting with Natural England, an organization that advises the government on environmental issues.
“We are aware of the issues at The Haven, and sympathize with the concerns of residents,” he said. “However, badgers are a legally protected species and it requires a special license to control them.
“In the meantime, the council has set up a working group made up of officers from planning, conservation and housing to look at the issue of badgers in the area.”
Meanwhile, one of the residents said he had to have 18 tons of soil trucked away after the garden wall collapses onto their drive. Another complained that her home now looks like a bomb site.
But is the best solution really killing the badgers? For their part, these protected animals might argue that they’ve been living in the neighborhood for a long time longer than these new arrivals with their fancy homes.