WILDLIFE lovers are fuming after a fully-grown badger was found shot dead near Elcombe in the Slad Valley.

Animal rights campaigner Denise Ward was contacted by a friend who spotted the body in a field beside Swift’s Hill Nature Reserve early this morning, Monday, February 28.

She reported the find to police, who immediately enlisted the help of Tony Dean from Gloucestershire Badger Group.

Mr Dean, who has been involved in badger protection across the county for more than 30 years, determined that the adult male had been shot in the back leg and bled to death.

"When badgers are injured and suffering they try for all their worth to get back to their set and this one was only three or four yards away," said Tony.

"It could well have been the dominant breeding male in its group."

The Protection of Badgers Act 1992 outlaws any unauthorised killing, injuring or taking of the animal.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact police on 0845 090 1234 quoting incident 174 of February 28.

Alternatively, speak to Mr Dean on 01453 750 164.