Abandoned badger cubs on the road to recovery

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Stop whatever you're doing RIGHT NOW and take a look at these beyond-adorable orphaned baby badgers.

The tiny cubs were found when contractors building a swimming pool accidentally dug up a set in someone's garden. The startled mother ran away and the cubs were left to fend for themselves - until workers at Wildlife Aid in Leatherhead, Surrey came to the rescue.

Charity founder Simon Cowell (not the Simon Cowell) said: "The find was quite worrying because usually there are around four or five cubs in a set.

"It just reinforces the need to be careful of the environment when you're carrying out building work."

Staff estimate the cubs are four to five weeks old and they weigh just 300 grams each. A dedicated team work round-the-clock to feed the little ones with milk from a bottle every four hours, in order to see them through this critical stage of recovery and development.

"With orphans like this in a critical stage I'm always worried and will be until they reach about a kilo in weight," said Cowell. "But I'm also always hopeful and we're doing all we can for them."

The wildlife centre are hoping to release the stripey duo back into the wild later this year, once they have grown sufficiently.

Staff generally do a "soft release" whereby they will introduce the pair to a starter home, with a set of around 20 other badgers in a den.

"After about a month we'll take the den down, leave the set in place and continue to feed them for several months," Cowell explained. "Gradually, we'll cut this feeding down and continue to monitor them for a while after."

The youngsters' eyes are still sealed right now, so they will continue to be held together for company until they grow older.

Photos: Solent News / Rex Features

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