A shocked Seaford resident out for a walk with his family stepped in to save two baby badgers which were mauled by a loose dog.
The attack happened in a field backing onto Blatchington Golf Course on Sunday.
Nick Linazasoro was out for a walk with his wife and two sons, Toby, 11, and James,14, when Toby spotted the badgers peeking out of their sett.
Nick said, “When we got near the hole they actually came out to meet us and kept following us.
“We were initially overjoyed with our close encounter of the baby badger kind.”
Two women with two dogs were walking along behind the family.
One of the dogs – a border terrier – slipped its lead and went for the baby badgers.
Nick said, “It was savaging the larger of the two.
“I literally grabbed the dog and hoisted it up in the air at face level with the badger still in its jaws. I was shouting at it, ‘let go’.
“The badger did get free.
“We could not see any blood but these babies were obviously all alone and they still kept following us.”
Nick called the East Sussex Wildlife and Rescue Service, which is run by Trevor Weeks and a small team of volunteers.
Once on scene, WRAS rescuer Kathy Martyn took more than an hour to coax the frightened badgers out of their sett, one at a time.
The badgers were found to be underweight, dehydrated and suffering from skin problems.
They were loaded into a wildlife ambulance taken to Folly Wildlife Rescue Centre near Tunbridge Wells to go with another badger cub rescued earlier in the week.
Nick said, “It was wonderful, then very traumatic and then it all turned out okay.
“Hopefully these babies will survive.”