Workmen painting white lines on a road left a gap for a dead badger because they said it was not their responsibility to move it.
The animal had been killed about a week before on the A338 near Downton, on the Hampshire-Wiltshire border.
Hampshire County Council said the workers did what they thought “was best” because it is the district council’s job to remove carcasses.
The badger has now been removed and the painting will be completed on Friday.
The county council said there would be no extra cost to taxpayers because the company was being paid a fixed rate for the job.
Businessman Kevin Maul was on his way home from work when he noticed the break in the lines.
He said: “I couldn’t quite believe my eyes when I saw this poor old badger who had been there over a week.
“I’d seen him every day as I went by and wondered if he was going to be picked up.
“Then on Friday I drove home to see his body between the lines – they had painted the road, but left a gap where he lay.”
Hampshire County Council is responsible for the line painting but New Forest District Council is responsible for clearing road kill.
The two failed to arrange the clearance before line painting began.
Mel Kendal, county council environment chief, said: “We would usually liaise with our colleagues at the district council who dispose of animal carcasses on the highways to ensure the badger was removed before the white line painting crew did this stretch of road.
“This appears not to have happened in this case and the white line painting crew did what they thought was best until arrangements could be made to dispose of the carcass.
“These arrangements have now been made and the gap in the white lines will be filled in, at no extra cost to the council tax payer.”
Council contractor Amey said the staff from sub-contractor Bellstan were not “licensed or trained” to remove road kill.