BACK TO THE WILD: Rescued badgers return to their natural habitats in Cwmbran
Images: RSPCA Cymru
Two badgers who were saved in "dramatic circumstances" from the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal have been returned to the wild after a period of rehabilitation with the RSPCA.
RSPCA Cymru say the release marked "another happy ending", following a rescue which one officer had labelled her most "bizarre and unusual day" in 15 years on the frontline.
The video footage captures the heart-warming moment the badgers were safely returned to the Cwmbran area.
Officers from the animal welfare charity had partnered with firefighters from the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service to reach the two male badgers - who were precariously stuck between metal steps and the wall on Pentre Lane above the canal in Cwmbran.
RSPCA inspector David Milborrow and animal rescue officer (ARO) Sian Burton had enlisted the support of firefighters. The RSPCA managed to lift the animals to safety using a grasper, while firefighters abseiled down the wall with nets below for extra security.
Both badgers then came into the care of the RSPCA for a period of rehabilitation with wildlife specialists in West Wales, before being returned to the wild on the evening of 8 February.
RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben and RSPCA ARO Ellie West transported the badgers from West Wales back to the Cwmbran site - where they were released near the scene of their rescue, at opposite sides of the canal to ensure they did not fight. It is thought they may possibly have fallen into the canal in the first place after a territorial dispute.
ARO Burton said: "It's so fantastic to have been involved in another happy ending. It's why we do the job - and seeing these badgers released was amazing; given the precarious situation we found them in at the canal.
"Both were safe and well after a period of rehabilitation in our care. We returned them near to the site they were found; but a little distance apart from one another so they didn't fight.
"These two badgers really were rescued from the most dramatic circumstances, and will probably never realise how lucky they were! We're just delighted they are back where they belong - in the wild; and hopefully stay away from any more canals!"
Watch the channel on TV