AN animal group is hoping to help protect baby badgers in the area.

The North East Essex Badger Group is urging dog walkers not to let their pets off leads near setts.

The call comes after a baby badger died after being carried around in the jaws of a dog in Earls Colne.

The cub was taken to the Forge Veterinary Surgery in Halstead for emergency treatment after being discovered by passer-by Heidi Page.

Weighing just 125g, the cub is thought to have only been around one week old.

She had suffered puncture wounds to several parts of her body, one of which penetrated the abdomen.

After the ordeal, she was taken home by a North Essex Badger Group volunteer.

But the young badger became unconscious and died that evening.

The North Essex Badger Group is appealing to pet owners to keep small dogs on leads near to badger setts.

A spokesman said the dog involved was very lucky to not be injured by the cub’s mother as badgers will vigorously defend their young.

Anyone who sees a badger in danger should call 07751 572175.