Two badgers have been rescued after becoming trapped in a three metre-deep hole in a Ditchling garden.
The RSPCA was called to a property on Underhill Lane on March 29 after the badgers were found in the pit dug for a new septic tank.
Marija Bichan, who found the badgers in the garden of her home and called the RSPCA, said: “In the morning I was checking on the work area and saw that two badgers had fallen in overnight.
"I felt sick, as one of them had some blood by their ear and they weren’t moving much.
"We had left a ladder in the hole overnight, but then went to find a long plank of wood to see if they would come up by themselves."
Animal collection officer Julie Parsons climbed into the pit with the badgers and managed to capture them both and carry them out of the hole before checking them for injuries.
Marija added: “Julie arrived within the hour and she was amazing. She managed to get the first one into the cage and Dave the digger man pulled the cage up and out of the hole. She let the badger out around the back of the garage and he ran off very quickly."
“Julie went back down to get the second one and she was running around a bit more. Again, she got hold of her using a grasper and popped her into the cage with a bit more of a struggle. Dave pulled the second badger up and they let her go.”
Officer Parsons said that despite one of the badgers having some blood staining around the ear it looked like the wound was superficial.
She said: “They didn’t require veterinary treatment so I decided to release them there and then.
"It was lovely to see them trotting back off into the undergrowth.
“I just hope they’re a bit more careful and look where they’re going next time they go searching for food."
The RSPCA says anyone who finds an injured, sick or trapped wild animal are urged to keep a safe distance and contact its 24-hour emergency line for advice or help on 0300 1234 999.
For video footage of officer Parsons working to capture one of the badgers see top of the page - video courtesy of Marija Bichan.