We are appealing for information after one badger was killed and another seriously injured by snares set up at the entrance to their sett.

The two badgers caught were found entangled in a field in Moorends, near Doncaster in the illegally set free-running snares. It is thought they had been trapped for more than 24 hours.

One, a female, was taken to our Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Cheshire for treatment, care and rehabilitation three weeks ago, and is now due to be released back to the wild in the next couple of days. Sadly the other, a male, had suffered such bad injuries and infections that he had to be put to sleep to avoid any more suffering.

It took two RSPCA officers – Inspector Sandra Dransfield and animal collection officer Ben Shaw – to cut both badgers free. They were so badly entwined that they had to be taken to a vet and sedated to be completely set free.

Inspector Dransfield said: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw not one but two badgers caught in snares just 20 yards apart from each other – literally just outside the entrance to their home. They didn’t stand a chance. These snares had been clearly placed directly onto an obvious badger sett and the poor animals would have had no choice but to walk straight into them.

“I have no doubt it was deliberate. Badger crime is unfortunately pretty rife in this area. It is also incredibly cruel. These badgers would have been struggling against these snares for quite some time and been in quite some pain – the wounds were deep and nasty.”

One of the snares had got caught up around the groin of the male badger so that his whole body, including head and front legs, was stuck. The resulting wounds were so deep and caused such a bad infection that the vet said the kindest thing was to put the badger to sleep.

The female had less long-term damage, so with a bit of treatment and care will be able to be released back to the wild.