Apr 16, 2010 - Devon, United Kingdom -
The Grave Robbers Of Sidmouth Are Unearthed: Family Of Badgers Sets Up Home Underneath Cemetery
Concerned locals thought tomb raiders had hit a seaside cemetery after graves there were completely excavated.
But on closer inspection, they realised the culprits were not ghoulish visitors but a family of badgers who had set up home underneath three 100-year-old graves, unearthing the human remains.Council staff in Sidmouth, Devon, have re-buried the bones in ground directly beneath where they were uncovered. Graves disturbed include one of a John William Hayes, aged 24, who died in 1899. Others belong to John and Emily Lake, who died in 1912 and 1935, respectively, and James Orchard, who died in 1914. 'From a practical point of view, it was necessary to put the bones out of public view, so they have been covered with soil, pending a decision on whether the grave needs to be re-consecrated,' said a spokesman for East Devon District Council. 'Due to the presence of the badgers and the amount of digging they do, it is always possible that more bones could be uncovered at any time. This will be an ongoing risk until such time as the badgers move to another location.' A Natural England representative and Department of Environment badger expert lan Crowe visited Sidmouth Cemetery and will make recommendations about how the badgers should be managed 'in a sensitive, humane and legal way'. Photo Shows: The scene of destruction at the cemetery in Sidmouth, Devon, where a family of badgers has moved in