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Are Badgers Dangerous?

Learning If Badgers Are Dangerous To Humans, Animals, Pets, and Eco System

Badgers are wild creatures of destructive temperament and aggressive behaviour. They are dangerous though, but they aren’t detrimental as long as you don’t annoy them or cause any discomfort to them. Only when annoyed, attacked or intimidated by the presence of another predator will they use their teeth and claws for self-defense action. Mostly, they are reluctant to come in contact with other creatures and wouldn’t attack without a reason!

Badgers are small-sized animals that belong to the Mustelidae – the largest family of carnivores – that includes stoats, weasels, ferrets, and otters. Badgers are small flat legged and low profile animals, with long sharp paws, white stripes on their face, coarse hair all over their body, and have a coat color ranging from grayish to reddish.

Badgers don’t have a specific size or weight. It depends on the breed type. However, they mostly range from 20-30 inches in length, including 4 to 6 inches of tail. They weigh between 8-39 pounds.

European Badger Diet

Where do Badgers live?

Badgers are usually found in the Great Plains Region of North America, and can also be found in Western Canadian Provinces, Western United States, Tibet, China, Pakistan, Mongolia and south throughout the mountainous areas of Mexico.

Badgers primarily prefer open, airy, dry grassland, though they are very versatile. Some of the badger species also prefer living in shrubs, rocky regions, and forests.

Species Of Badgers

The eight species of badgers are; the honey badger (Mellivora capensis; also called sand badger or ratel), the hog badger (Arctonyx collaris), the Eurasian badger (Meles meles), American badger (Taxidea taxus), three species of ferret badger (Melogale), the Palawan or Calamian stink badger (Suillotaxus marchei), and the Indonesian stink badger/Teledu (Mydaus javanensis).

The three subfamilies are; Melinae (the Eurasian badgers), Taxideinae (the American badger) and Mellivorinae, (the Ratel, honey, or sand badger). Formerly the Asiatic stink badgers of the genus Mydaus were included in the Melinae, but it is now known that these are Old World relatives of the skunks (Mephitidae family).

What Do They Eat?

Depending on their breed, badgers can be carnivorous or omnivorous.

The meat-eating badgers, like American Badgers, feed mainly on ground squirrels, moles, pocket gophers, marmots, woodrats, prairie dogs, deer mice, kangaroo rats, birds, insects, eggs, fishes and reptiles.

The omnivore breeds, like the European Badgers, feed mainly on nuts, fruits, corn, cereal crops, insects, earthworms, and slugs. They also eat little vertebrates, for example, moles, mice, rats, shrews, rabbits, frogs, snakes, lizards, and newts.

Badgers Behavior

Badgers usually get active at night, in search of their prey. Their powerful forelimbs allow them to tunnel rapidly through the soil and other substrates. They are not true hibernators but spend much of the winter in cycles of torpor that usually last about 29 hours. Badgers young are conceived in spring and stay with their mom until pre-fall, after which they go far away from their mothers to build and live in a separate homeland.

Are Badgers Dangerous

Are Badgers Dangerous to Humans?

Badgers are not considered dangerous for humans. They are extremely reluctant to come in contact with humans and wouldn’t attack you, unless you try to charge or harass them. Moreover, if a badger is injured or feels threatened by humans, then it can attack in self-defense, with its pretty sharp claws and teeth which are enough to make someone gutted.

In addition, Badger attacks on humans are uncommon, however, they do occur. If left unbothered, the creature will for the most part attempt to withdraw. But if you try to irritate or trap them, then it might force the Badger to bite or attack you in aggression.

Are Badgers Dangerous to Pets?

Badgers aren’t friendly towards human beings or other animals. Due to their wild instincts and destructive nature, they are neither considered loyal towards other species nor be considered as good human-friendly pets.

Are Badgers Dangerous to Other Animals?

People that live nearby high badger populations have to keep their pets safe to avoid contact with badgers, because pet animal casualties by wild badgers are common. Mornings are safe, but nights aren’t. This is because badgers usually search for their prey at night.

Are Badgers Dangerous to dogs?

Badgers try to avoid coming in contact with dogs. They are petrified from dogs and try to hide from them. According to our research badgers are not vicious as people say, because each time a badger and dog get into a fight… It is a canine mistake because they chase badgers and play with them, which makes the badger vicious and charge in self-defense. Otherwise, badgers have no attention to harm or attack a dog because they feel threatened by them.

Are Badgers Dangerous to Cats?

Badgers don’t prey on cats but if they find a dead one they don’t let the chance go. This is because it’s their habit to eat everything that comes across them. Cats are quick-witted, have sharp teeth and claws, and can jump and run fast. It gives a cat an edge to defend itself from a badger attack. But even if a fight starts between both of them, the badger will surely take the lead.

Are Badgers Dangerous to Horses?

Badgers are small animals and aren’t deadly for horses. Till today, there’s only one report of a badger biting a horse leg and causing rabies in the horse. Otherwise, it is very very rare for a badger to attack a horse.

Are Badgers Dangerous to Chickens?

Badgers are incredibly strong. They can easily tear off the chicken house and can kill or eat the chickens. They love to prey on smaller animals and their preferred diet often includes chickens, if they can get to them.

To protect your chickens from badger attack, invest in mesh fencing that is buried at least 12 inches in the ground so that badgers can’t reach the chicken den via digging. Also, install some lights near the chickens to make badgers frightened. If necessary, invest in an electric fence to make sure your chickens are safe.

Are Badgers Dangerous to The Society?

Badgers may harm the environment, for example, they can damage crops and fruit gardens. They are also known for poultry killings and for damaging fences, gardens, and properties due to digging. Badgers are also transmitters of tuberculosis and may transmit the disease to dairy animals. However, a badger’s pest control ability and soil aerating properties (as a result of powerful burrowing) for the good of the ecosystem, can’t be ignored as well.

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Aamir Iqbal

Aamir is crazy for pets, but not the traditional ones… In fact, he enjoys chilling with cold-blooded reptiles. He loves adding reptiles and amphibians, whom he terms as his family. His local community calls him, Amir the Beast Boy!

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