A married couple were stunned to find that a badger had been breaking into their suburban terraced home to steal food – via their cat flap.
Greg Dow, 41, captured the startled black and white animal on video after it had crept into his kitchen to munch on cat food while he was watching the TV.
The hilarious clip shows the nocturnal mammal first charge head first into the back door before finally clambering back out of the flap and into the couple's back garden.
Greg’s wife Heather, 41, assumed a fox was sneaking into their three-bed home after previously finding bins overturned and cat biscuits scattered across the floor.
But she said it was “pretty cool” to find out that their visitor was in fact a fluffy-tailed badger, while adding their cat remained unimpressed with his new dinner guest.
She said: “It was really funny and very special, and I’ve probably never seen a badger in real life, so to see one in our kitchen was pretty cool.
“It’s obvious cost us in cat food, and the cat’s not very impressed. But we figured out that we’ll put the cat food on the table because badgers cannot climb.
“We don’t want to encourage it, but we’re not going to discourage it either.”
Speech and Language therapist Heather, from Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, said the couple had first realized that an animal was breaking into their home at the start of last week.
She said: “We knew there was something getting in because we’d woken up before to an overturned bin and a box of cat biscuits spread across the kitchen floor.
“We thought maybe it was a fox, which was using our cat flap. But we didn’t think it could be anything bigger than that.
Heather said her husband had been watching TV at around 9.30 pm on Tuesday (Sept 27), when their cat alerted him to the presence of another animal in the kitchen.
She said: “My husband was in the living room, watching TV and I’d gone up to bed. He then heard a noise – a munching – and he figured it was a fox.
“So he came round the corner to the kitchen, and then the badger came scuttling towards him and out of the cat flap. He thought, ‘What on earth?’”
Mum of two Heather said she’d later found out that more badgers had been found in homes as the warm summer had left them with few sources of natural food.
And she said she felt sorry for the black and white creature that had broken into her property, which was clearly struggling to find its next meal.
She said: “An expert said because it’s been so hot this summer, it’s been really hard for badgers to find food. I feel really sorry for them.