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Friday, 18 August, 2000, 15:14 GMT 16:14 UK
Big Brother spawns 'Big Badger'
big badger graphic
There will be no weekly evictions from the badger sett
The latest TV and internet phenomenon, 'Big Brother' has already spawned a wildlife version - 'Big Badger.'

Equipment has been installed in a man-made sett at Wepre Park, Flintshire, to send live pictures of six of the creatures' round-the-clock activities to the internet.

Unlike 'Big Brother', there won't be any weekly evictions

Philip Windley of the BBC's Natural History unit
The specially-constructed burrow at the Connah's Quay site boasts alarms and microphones trained on the group's lives

Boulders blocking the tunnels to their new home have already been removed and the "contestants" are due to move in next week.

Rangers at the park constructed the sett, with a range of tunnels and chambers, in a small shed.

They installed six miniature cameras in the roof and laid fibre-optic cables to transmit the badgers' every move to a television at the park's visitor centre.
badger sett
Concrete tunnels have been lined with mud

The BBC will put the show online on its website every evening from next week.

Philip Windley of BBC Online's Natural History Unit said: "We were impressed with the effort Wepre Park has put in.

"Concrete tunnels have been lined with mud to look like a proper sett. We tapped off their video feed to put the pictures on our website."

But the success of the venture will again be down to the fickle stars - who have to be tempted in - and no-one is sure whether the show will be as successful as the smash TV show.
The venture is believed to be a UK first

"Rangers have left food outside the sett to tempt them inside," added Philip.

"There's no guarantee it will work, but we expect them to be fairly receptive."

"But there won't be evictions each week, so it's not really like Big Brother."

Phil Pearce, the ranger in charge of the project, said it was the first facility of its kind in the UK.

"It will allow people to call in any time," he said.

"Visitors will have a unique insight into the life of this very secretive creature."

Rangers expect the cameras to be online from next week - once the badgers set up home.

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