Three boys who found a badger stuck in a 20ft-deep pit saved its life by lowering water and food down to the animal, the RSPCA said.
Eleven-year-old brothers Elias and Idris, and their friend Aaron, were helping an elderly neighbour collect apples from an orchard in Falmer, when they went to explore the old pump house on a farm and spotted the badger stuck down in the pit.
Mum Dodie Baker said: “They spotted the badger and rushed to get their dad.
“They came to get a boiled egg and a chicken water trough and lowered them down into the pit and poured water through a hose from a watering can. They wanted to make sure the badger could have something to eat and drink.
“They did really well. I was surprised that they had thought of all of that.”
The boys’ parents then called the RSPCA for help.
Inspector Liz Wheeler went to the scene on Wednesday (October 24), and used an extendable net to scoop the badger out of the pit.
Inspector Wheeler said: “The three boys were lovely and did an amazing job helping this badger.
“They were worried about how long the badger had been stuck and thought he looked thin so they got him water and a boiled egg!
“I’d like to say a big well done and thank you to them – they saved this badger’s life!”
The RSCPA said it’s believed the badger stumbled into the pump room and fell down the pit while foraging for food.
Inspector Wheeler said after checking the badger over, it wasn’t injured, so could be released nearby.
“The boys did the right thing by calling their parents for help and getting in touch with us,” Inspector Wheeler said.
“They kept a safe distance from the badger but managed to get him food and water.
“We always encourage people not to try to rescue wild animals themselves as they can bite and scratch when frightened. We’d also urge people never to put themselves in danger to rescue an animal and always to contact us or another agency for help.”
Mrs Baker also thanked the RSPCA for helping the stricken animal.
She said: “Thank you to the RSPCA for all the effort your officer went to. She got here so fast and was wonderful.”
To find out more about the work of the RSPCA, visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give