Who is Urbie the Urban Badger? Most people know him only from his tweets. There are few hard facts about this shy, elusive character. We have scoured the Wildlife Trust archives, and this is what we have found out.
What do we know about Urbie?
One of the few definite facts we know about Urbie (not Urby!) is that he was born in June 1980. Like all badgers he lives a secretive life, spending most of his time underground in his warm, cosy sett.
An Urban Wildlife Group leaflet from 1988 declares that "Badgers are Deeply Cool Creatures" - Urbie wouldn't disagree with that! He even met Jack Johnson backstage when he played a gig in Birmingham.
Another typical badger side to Urbie's character is his bravery in defending himself - and other wild creatures. He's a staunch campaigner against badger culling (let's face it, most of us don't want to be shot!) but he has also campaigned on many different wildlife issues over the years. Legend has it that when wildlife in Birmingham and the Black Country is under threat, Urbie will emerge from underground and ride to its defence on a gleaming silver motorcycle.
Urbies lives underground - does he have underworld connections?
As a matter of good practice we checked to see if Urbie has a criminal record. The police didn't have any information about him, although there are tales of cruel criminal gangs trying to dig him out of his sett.
A source close to MI5 supplied us with this astonishing image of the late Tony Banks MP, being held hostage at the houses of parliament by dozens of angry badgers. Each badger bears the name of the place they come from. We have studied the picture very carefully and the badger clasping Tony by the arm has a badge ending with the letters "gham". Draw your own conclusions...
Does Urbie have any family?
Back in the 80s/90s the Birmingham Evening Mail used to run a cartoon strip called 'Charles' which featured the Charles the urban fox, and his Badger friend Gillette. Was Gillette the Badger Urbie under a false name? No! This photo of Urbie at Villa Park flanked by Charles and Gillette shows that Gillette is Urbie's Brother, however, Gillette is even harder to find than Urbie these days, and Charles hasn't been spotted for over 15 years!
What does Urbie eat?
Most badgers eat worms, berries and otherstuff they find lying around. Urbie doesn't object to a few juicy worms, but he also enjoys a decent balti pie, chips in batter or a pint of Black Country Bitter.
Is there anything else we should know?
Do you really want to know any more about Urbie? We recently discovered this picture down the back of the Wildlife Trust sofa. In September 1991 Urbie demostrated his secret soccer skills when he captained Aston Villa against Nottingham Forest in front of a crowd of 28,500. Rumours that he was simply the match mascot are unfounded - look very closely and you will see that a panda and Edd the Duck were the match mascots.
Surely the chances of meeting Urbie face to face are pretty slim? Well now he is over 30 years old, he's gotten a bit more confident about meeting people. Follow Urbie on twitter and if you're lucky he will tweet advance notice of one of his rare public appearances.
Badgers are deeply cool creatures - Urban Wildlife Group