A group of wildlife carers near Burnham-On-Sea are looking after their first badger cub casualty of the year.

Secret World Wildlife Rescue, based in East Huntspill, says the orphan was found alone and cold and just a week or so old, in a garden in Yeovil.

The homeowners left her for a while to see if the mother would return, but sadly she didn’t. The cub has been named Opal and is being hand-reared by animal carers at Secret World.

In 2015 Secret World cared for 22 orphaned badger cubs and 43 orphaned fox cubs, and they are expecting to help just as many this year.

The young orphans need regular milk feeds, and the centre is appealing for help to feed the hungry babies.

Visit www.secretworld.org where you can either make a donation to the appeal, or you can click to send donations of much-needed powdered puppy milk directly to the centre.

Thanks to the actions of her finders, Opal is doing well so far, but sadly last week another badger cub wasn’t so lucky.

The cub was pulled from its sett by a dog and its injuries were so severe that it did not survive.

The sad story is a reminder to dog owners that young cubs are now being born. You can help protect these spring babies by keeping your dog under control when out in the countryside.

Laura Benfield, Head of Animal Care at Secret World, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “This was a tragic accident and the owners of the dog were mortified.”

“We would like to make people aware that young badgers are already being born and are at risk to such dangers.”

“Every year we see badger and fox cubs and even fawns that have been attacked by dogs not kept under control in the countryside.”

Next month, Secret World will be launching a new advice campaign to help people protect the wildlife around the Burnham-On-Sea area, and understand what to do if you find injured or orphaned animals.

It’s only a few weeks until Secret World’s Badger Bonanza event. The centre’s first open weekend of the year will be held over the Easter weekend from 25-28th March.

As well as the chance to find out more about badgers and other wild animals in Secret World’s care, visitors can enjoy wildlife talks, craft stalls, family activities and delicious food. Look out for more details on Burnham-On-Sea.com soon.