Badgers are closely related to otters, stoats, weasels, polecats and pine martens.
They are largely nocturnal, normally shy, retiring animals that live in social or family groups.
A badger's home is called a sett. The sett is an underground home, often with a labyrinth of tunnels involving the excavation of tons of earth.
An adult can grow up to 36" long and usually weighs from 22 to 27 lbs.
Badger prints are broader than they are long with five toes and five long, non-retractable powerful claws that they use for digging.
The sense of smell is the most important of the badgers senses. Badgers forage for food with their snouts constantly sniffing the ground ahead of them.
Badgers are omnivorous and will eat a wide variety of foods, although their main diet consists of earthworms, up to 200 per day.
Badgers are less active during winter months but they do not hibernate.
The mating process involves "delayed implantation". Although females are able to mate any time after the cubs are born the fertilised egg does not implant in the uterus until December.
Badger cubs are normally born in February, the number of cubs usually being between one and three. Cubs emerge about May after spending the first 8-10 weeks underground.
Badgers are gorgeous!
The Mid Sussex Badger Protection Group, says - "Badger baiting is a thoroughly brutal sport. It's hard to believe that this kind of thing goes on in the 21st Century. During the fights, badgers are pitted against dogs and bets are placed on, for example, which dog will be bitten first. People spend the evening tormenting the animals. Badgers have the fiercest bite of any animal of their size. They often have their tail or feet nailed to the floor to even up the fight."
and ... from the RSPCA - "Inspectors regularly get calls about badger baiting and we know fighting goes on. It's extremely barbaric. The badgers are literally torn to pieces and the dogs are often left with horrific injuries. One of the problems is that the dogs aren't taken to vets in case they find out about the fighting. Owners try to treat the dogs themselves and can't so they are just left injured."
Badger groups urge people to look for setts, notice if anything changes and report it to their local Badger Group.
See also - | Badger baiting - © the Rochdale |
These wonderful animals have been persecuted for centuries. No wonder badgers have a natural fear of man.