Badgers running riot in a city centre cemetery have begun digging up human remains and scattering bones across the ground – causing misery to dozens of mourners who regularly visit the site.
One visitor to his family’s grave at Yardley Cemetery has been forced to contact his Member of Parliament after spotting remains scattered over open ground near badger sets, reports Birmingham Live.
Friday’s grim discovery was the latest in a wrangle over the graveyard wildlife – which has now rumbled on for almost two years.
Mourners who regularly attend the burial ground say it was only a matter of time before the animals clawed deep enough to reach bodies buried underneath the soil.
Videos captured by eyewitnesses clearly show bones strewn on mounds of earth created by the animals.
And when our reporter attended the scene, an area had been cordoned off and displaced soil scattered around a large area.
Now loved ones are demanding the sets are moved to prevent further disturbance.
Michael Saunders, whose family’s grave is at Yardley, described the scene as distressing.
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The teacher is so concerned about future disturbance by marauding badgers that he will not place his mother Dorothy’s ashes in the family grave.
She died three months ago.
He went on: “The badgers have now dug down so deep they are rooting up the bones.
"There are bones scattered on the ground, joints even. Obviously, the coffins have degraded, but they are getting to the bones.”
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“It is appalling. I don’t know what is going to be dug up next. It is very distressing. I’d like the sett to be re-located. The cemetery staff are aware of this and I’ve contacted my local MP Jess Phillips.”
There has been a large badger presence on the site for years, but as the population has grown so too has the problem.
Michael went on: “There’s no excuses, what happened was preventable.
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"If they’d nipped things in the bud, this wouldn’t have happened. I am an animal lover. I realise badgers have rights, but the people who were laid to rest at Yardley Cemetery have rights, also.”
Birmingham City Council confirmed badgers had caused “significant damage” to part of the 64-acre site, which was at risk of ground collapse.
A spokesperson added: “There has been a disturbance of, presumed, human remains at Yardley Cemetery due to badger activity which has been reported by a member of the public.
"The disturbed remains will be reburied in a sensitive manner.
“Our thoughts are with the families of those affected but we are prevented from taking action against this activity due to the protected nature of the badgers.
"The site manager is liaising with Natural England to see what can be done to reduce the risk of such incidents in future.”
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