'Badger hates Society, and invitations, and dinner, and all that sort of thing', writes Kenneth Grahame in The Wind in the Willows. Well, if badgers are indeed averse to polite company, why then are they hanging around the Ladies' Recreation Club? These creatures are the latest contenders for the identity of the mystery beast that has been spotted by readers above Admiralty. Last week, the Sunday Morning Post reported that government scientists believed the strange animal to be a masked palm civet. However, Peter and Tracy Gresley, who say they have seen a peculiar beast several times in the area around the club, believe it is a hog badger. 'We are 100 per cent sure it is a hog badger,' Mr Gresley said. 'We have seen it a couple of times. It was about the size of a medium dog. It was approximately 10 feet [about 3 metres] from us and we had a very clear view. We searched for pictures on the internet the same evening.' The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said hog badgers average about 65-100cm in length with a tail of about 15cm. They vary from light yellow or brown to grey or black with a lighter rear end. 'Hog badgers are not native to Hong Kong,' a spokesman said, without ruling out the possibility. He said the only badger found in the city was the small-toothed ferret badger. But Mr Gresley, after seeing a photo of the ferret badger, was still convinced what they saw was a hog badger. 'The snout on the animal we saw is much longer and wider and curled upwards. It was thick set, had a lumbering gait, short legs and a pig-like, long snout. Its tail was shortish and bushy at the end.'