European Badger Facts!

European Badger Facts!

Badger on dry ground facing the camera. Seen at the British Wildlife Centre, Newchapel, Surrey. ‘Honey’, the badger, at the afternoon Keeper’s talk. Image credit: Peter Trimming, (CC BY 2.0)

European badgers are nocturnal animals and are also quite elusive. They live underground in homes that they dig out themselves. They have strong, sharp, elongated claws that are perfect for digging. The male badgers are called boars, the females are called sows, and the young are called cubs. Badgers are omnivores. Their diet consists of a range of plants and animals, such as earthworms, insects, slugs and small mammals.


European badger (Meles meles) feeding on fallen apples. Image credit: Ian McIntosh, (CC BY-SA 4.0)


European badgers create a network of tunnels underground to live in, which is called a sett or a den. The sett has a large number of passages, chambers and entrances, and may house several badgers, called a clan, led by a dominant male and female. Setts are used from generation to generation, and some are many decades old. Badgers build their setts in well-drained soil that is easy to dig.


Entrance to a badger sett. Image credit: CiaranG, GFDL.

Badgers are very fussy about the hygiene of their sett. They change the bedding of the burrow frequently throughout the year. The bedding consists of bracken, straw, moss, grass and leaves. If a badger dies inside a sett, the others will either seal that chamber shut and dig a new one, or take the body outside and bury it. They even have separate latrines close by the setts.

European Badgers are featured in the following book:
25 Nocturnal Animals

The YouTube video playlist below contains videos about European Badgers. Details of the videos featured are underneath.

The Playlist:

  1. Frolicking with badgers – BBC wildlife
  2. Scratchin´ Badgers – Missy Elliot by BolxDeluxe
  3. Exciting wildlife in the forest – BBC wildlife
  4. A night of badger watching by Badger Watching Man


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