A PENSIONER fought off a snarling badger after it got into his family home and brazenly climbed the stairs.
Shocked Graham Rait chased off the creature with a broom after first thinking his grandchildren had left a stuffed toy on the landing of his Kettering home.
The 74-year-old went to pick up the "toy" but it bared its teeth at him.
The grandfather-of-four shouted for his wife, Hazel, 73, who took pictures of the unwelcome house guest as Graham chased it down the stairs.
Graham, a retired company director, said: "I was absolutely gobsmacked – Badgers are supposed to be nocturnal. He was just sitting there curled up.
"My immediate reaction was that it was one of my grandchild's furry toys, but then it started moving.
"I had to persuade him out with a broom – the poor badger was absolutely stinking.
"They are dangerous, I wouldn't have gone near it with my hands, It was showing its teeth.
"When I called the RSPCA, I told them that I hadn't been drinking. I was worried they wouldn't believe me."
The badger is believed to have got into the couple's home after they left their back door open for their Labrador, Pepper, to get back into the house.
Hazel, a retired teacher, 73, had been sitting in the kitchen of the couple's converted Roman barn house, where they have lived for 34 years, when the badger ran into the house behind her.
She said: "I must've heard it going up the stairs but I thought I was our dog. I heard this thump thump, thump He left grime all up the stairs.
"When I heard Graham shouting, I didn't know what he was trying to tell me so of course I was worried.
"I went to the bottom of the stairs and there it was. I couldn't believe it!
"The last thing I expected to see at the top of the stairs was a badger.
"I didn't even know they could climb stairs."
After managing to shoo the animal downstairs with a broom, the badger made a beeline for Graham's garage – where it hid and refused to come out.
Relieved to have the beast out of the house, Graham called the RSPCA – and inspectors came to remove the badger.
Graham added: "The man from the RSPCA said he had never heard of a badger coming into someone's house before and that it was very unusual.
"He also reminded us how dangerous badgers can be – he told us that one of his colleagues had lost two fingers to a badger that he had mistaken for dead."
"We ought to keep the door shut more, but I never thought we'd have to worry about a badger breaking in."
The couple say that not long after they called the RSPCA a man arrived to take the badger away and warned them not to approach any stray badgers in future.
An RSPCA spokesman said: "We are very grateful to the gentleman for contacting us, as the badger was suffering a great deal."
Earlier this year we reported a raccoon caused chaos after it bowled into a couple's home, rifled through their drawers and terrorised their cat.
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