Police were due to quiz a university student who allegedly killed a badger – with a SPEAR GUN.
The stricken animal suffered a slow and agonising death after it crawled into a garden near Baydock Hall campus at the University of Bristol.
The spear had become so deeply embedded in the badger’s bloodied torso that animal experts had to perform a lengthy operation to remove it.
Avon and Somerset Police and the RSPCA yesterday confirmed they had launched a joint investigation into the incident.
It is thought that a law student, who has since gone home for the summer holidays, was being sought for questioning.
A resident living in Stoke Bishop, Bristol, where the animal was found, said: ”The badger must have been shot somewhere near to their garden but it had crawled there to die.
”The spear was deeply embedded in the dead badger and the RSPCA had to practically operate to get it out. Residents immediately got in touch with the university.
”We were told that whoever did this may get away with a caution but nothing has been confirmed.
”This was a very cruel thing to do and it was breaking the law. It would have been a lingering death for the badger and it has been very upsetting. I can’t bear to think about it.”
A spokesman for Avon and Somerset police said: ”We can confirm that a dead badger was reported to the police on June 6.
”The matter was referred to the RSPCA who then requested the involvement of the police again.
”We are working with the RSPCA and awaiting results of a post mortem which the RSPCA are carrying out on the badger. Police enquiries are continuing.”
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: ”Every summer the RSPCA sees a rise in the number of reported incidents of injured wildlife and domestic animals using all sorts of weapons, including airguns and crossbows.
”Hundreds of animals suffer slow and agonising deaths every year due to the reckless use of such weaponry and this is clearly of serious concern to the RSPCA.”
A spokesman for the University of Bristol said: ”The matter is in the hands of police and we are unable to comment.
”However, the university takes any allegation of this nature extremely seriously and once the report has been completed by police appropriate action will be taken.”