Adorable abandoned baby badger from Derbyshire now has four more cubs as playmates
Wildlife rescue worker Hayley Robinson, 27 has told how her life was turned upside down when she became a foster mum to FIVE orphaned baby badgers.
A single rescued badger cub was brought to Cuan Wildlife Rescue in Much Wenlock, Shropshire, on February 16.
Just a few days old, it was found abandoned by a badger rescue group in Derbyshire.
Hayley agreed to become foster mum to the tiny cub, but she couldn't have predicted that just days later, another four tiny cubs would also arrive after being rescued from their flooded home by members of the public.
Too tiny to leave at the rescue centre where she works, she had to bring the five - Valentine, Rose, Cupid, Juliette and Casanova - home so she could be on hand 24/7.
Just like all first-time new parents, her nights are filled with round the clock feeds, initially waking up every two hours to feed the squeaking hungry newborns.
Her job involved sterilising and bottle-feeding the cubs every two hours, as well as cleaning out their bedding and helping them go to the toilet.
She described how she would traipse downstairs in her two-bed home several times throughout the night to feed the cubs in their bed in her living room.
She said: "As cute as they were, it was definitely demanding at first.
"I was having to take power-naps between feeds!"
Hayley shared a video of the realities of being a full-time foster mum to five baby badgers - including hand feeding them with syringes.
She added: "Outside this industry, you'd never normally see them this small, so it's nice to share the experience with people and show the badgers' progress as they grow."
Now around five weeks old, the cubs are old enough to sleep through the night without regular feeds.
Hayley has been taking them into the Wildlife Centre with her in the daytime, and they are beginning to get their black and white markings and open their eyes.
Hayley said: "They've grown so much already - but I must say it's nice to get a full night's sleep!
"I'll probably have them for another four weeks yet, before they can go to live at the rescue centre - so my job is far from over."
Once they've been moved to the rescue centre, they will live there before being released into a safe man-made home in the wild in autumn.
Before they are released they'll be tested for and vaccinated against bovine tuberculosis.
Hayley said she'll miss the badgers when they eventually return to the wild.
She said: "In this job, it's not just about liking animals - they become your life and you think about them all the time.
"Sometimes you have to put your own feelings aside and do what's right for the animals - even if all you want to do is give them a cuddle.
"As much as I enjoy having them at home with me, I have to keep the end goal in mind - to give them the life they deserve back in the wild, so they can live like proper badgers."