People in the West Midlands have been warned to stay away from a potentially dangerous badger.
The curious animal has been seen behaving strangely in a park and approaching dogs out for a stroll in the woods.
Now the RSPCA has told members of the public to avoid the lone creature, amid fears that it may be sick or tamed by human owners.
The organization said it could be ‘aggressive’ – but video footage appears just to show it being overly friendly with some spooked pets.
The clip shows the mammal trotting after people in broad daylight in Cannock Chase on Monday.
The black and white prowler, which appears to be quite skinny and young, persistently chases two barking dogs up a woodland path, forcing the two pets’ owners to pull them away.
The video then shows the badger moving on to another group of dogs as started people watch on, adding ‘something’s not right’.
Badgers are normally nocturnal and shy – but can be aggressive if threatened.
This one did not seem to be threatening but its apparent need to get up close and personal to say hello should be ignored because it could behave unpredictably, experts say.
It was seen following a human across a water path before appearing to lose interest and heading back into woodland – more than 90 seconds after the clip started.
At one point, it comes within inches of a French bulldog, whose owner is heard begging the badger to leave.
On Thursday, the RSPCA confirmed that the animal’s actions are highly unusual and urged people to keep a safe distance.
In a statement, the organization said: ‘This is not normal behavior for a badger, who are nocturnal and wouldn’t usually be seen in open daylight walking amongst people.
‘The RSPCA would advise that if anyone sees this badger – or any other – behaving like this, to keep a distance, and to keep dogs well away.
‘It may well be disoriented and could be unpredictable and aggressive.
‘If you see a badger you have concerns about please call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999.’
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Bemused local Ben Clay captured the video and posted it on social media, where it went viral.
Viewers speculated that the animal could be unwell or hand raised by a human.
Badgers live in large family groups, known as settlements, in underground burrows.
Cubs are born in January or February but spend their first few months underground, only coming out in spring when it is a little warmer.
It is unclear exactly how old this badger is.
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