Although some Badgers live alone, most live in groups of between two and twenty individuals. A group of Badgers is called a clan or sometimes a cete. A typical clan is around six Badgers occupying a single large sett.
A Badger’s diet consists largely of earthworms, insects and grubs and the eggs of ground nesting birds. They also eat small mammals and birds as well as roots and fruit.
Although they have a cute cuddly appearance Badgers are capable of causing major injuries and serious bites. DO NOT attempt to touch an injured Badger unless you are experienced in handling such animals. Even a small cub can give a nasty bite and should not be handled.
If you come across a Badger that has been injured on the road, call for help immediately and if possible stay with the animal until help arrives but ensure you watch from a distance and don’t be tempted to touch it. You may need to contact the police if the animal is causing an obstruction on the road.
If you see a Badger caught in a snare, call for help immediately and DO NOT be tempted to release or cut the snare and let the Badger go even if it seems uninjured because not only do you risk being badly bitten but a constriction injury usually leads to what is called ‘pressure necrosis’ where the underlying tissue is damaged and the area is likely to become seriously infected leading to septicaemia and death. Any animal with this type of injury is normally kept for at least seven days for monitoring and treatment.
Badgers mate all year round but due to the females’ ability to delay implantation, the cubs are normally born between January and March. They stay underground for six weeks before venturing outside but are still totally dependent on their mothers for another three or four weeks. The young are suckled until they are around twelve weeks old but also have to start foraging for their own food.
If you find a young Badger cub that clearly should not be out of the den, it is important you get help straight away. If you have no choice but to pick up the cub, use thick leather gloves and a really thick blanket or doubled up towel with which you can cover the cub. Hold it away from your body and place it in a cat carrier or very strong box (not cardboard) and call for help or take to your nearest wildlife centre or veterinary practice. Do not attempt to feed unless advised to do so by a professional.