A WEYMOUTH family got up close with nature when they discovered a badger lying in their garden.

Wildlife experts were called in due to fears the animal was injured.

Elysia Munday, former Weymouth carnival queen, had been visiting her granddad Mick Legg in Chickerell when she spotted the creature in the shrubbery.

She said: “We saw something hiding behind the flowers.

“At first we thought it was a cat but the markings and size suggested otherwise.

“It wasn’t clear if the badger was hurt or not so due to their aggressive tendencies we called in the experts to assess the animal and hopefully release it back into the wild.

“It was a shock to have a big badger quite literally on the front doorstep – talk about getting up close with nature.

“Luckily it was a happy ending and he was taken back to a safe place completely unharmed.”

Her granddad Mick Legg added: “We didn’t know if the badger was ill or hurt as at first it was just lying there for around an hour-an-a-half.

“But when the officer from the RSPCA arrived it became very lively and tried to get away.”

He added: “The badger was taken away in a cage – it was quite dramatic.”

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “We did receive a call from a concerned member of the public who was worried about a badger they had come across on Lower Way, Chickerell.

“An RSPCA animal collection officer attended but upon inspection the animal was found to be unharmed and was released nearby.”