On this page we hope to answer a few of the most commonly asked questions.
Where do badgers live?
In an underground series of tunnels and chambers known as a sett, usually out in the countryside in areas of woodland and grassland, but occasionally in more unusual places, such as an old drain pipe in a field or under buildings and, more frequently these days, within town boundaries.
What do they eat?
Their favourite food is earthworms, but depending on the season and the availability of worms, they will eat more or less anything from berries, apples and nuts to small mammals such as rabbits, as well as taking any opportunity to scavenge on any larger dead animals they come across. They are regarded as a carnivore but they are in fact a true omnivore.
Are they related to any other British mammals?
Badgers are a member of the Mustelidae family, which includes otters, polecats, ferrets, stoats, weasels, mink and pine martens.
Why do badgers need protection under the law?
Badgers are not an endangered species in terms of population, but they can suffer from loss of habitat due to development. Much more serious is the threat from cruelty. Badger-baiting and badger-digging are on the increase, particularly in certain areas of the country. Badgers are dug out of their setts to be baited by dogs or killed in some other barbaric way. It was the digging and baiting of badgers that brought about the need for the first Badger Protection Act in 1973, and other acts have followed to improve that protection.
Will they attack people?
Badgers are generally afraid of people and very shy, so they will make every effort to avoid contact with humans. If a badger, particularly an injured one, is cornered, fear will obviously make it want to defend itself and of course it could deliver a nasty bite. Since they are nocturnal, your chances of coming across one in such a way are minimal.
Why do you rarely see badgers?
Badgers are nocturnal. They have poor eyesight, but tremendous hearing, which has been estimated at something like 500 times more acute than human hearing, and also a wonderful sense of smell, which usually tells them that people are nearby long before you get near them - that gives them the chance to move away.
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