A group of badgers causing train traffic disruptions will be taken away from their homes in the Netherlands. The tunnels that the badgers have dug beneath the railway tracks in two cities in the Netherlands have weakened the ground, causing safety concerns for humans.
Dutch railway workers are now actively searching to move the badgers to a different spot so that train traffic can resume safely. However, the situation is causing inconvenience for passengers. They have been advised to take a replacement bus or follow a different route, which adds 30-60 minutes to their travel time.
The badgers are legally protected and can’t be killed or handled aggressively. The Dutch railway infrastructure operator ProRail plans to lure or drive them to a new home made of sand near the tracks and install a metal barrier so they cannot return. However, the company says the badgers’ free will and behaviour make it difficult to predict how long the operation will take.
“How long it’s going to take to remove the badgers from the railway to the other spot? We don’t know exactly,” said Aldert Baas, spokesperson of ProRail.
“Badgers don’t read papers or instructions, and so on, so they will go their own way. We have to wait for that. And it will take one or two weeks, and then they leave, hopefully. And after that, we can repair the situation. So, everything is ready for safe rail traffic,” he added.
In the 1980s, the badger was almost extinct in the Netherlands, but then the House of Representatives decided that a recovery plan was needed.
The animals were reintroduced to places where they no longer lived, and each province had to come up with a plan to protect the animal. There are now probably more than 6,000 badgers in the Netherlands.