National Badger Day is celebrated every year on October 6. Now sure, you might see one of these short-legged furry fellas, say ‘aww’ and get into a cuddling mode but make no mistake! These are fearsome creatures who may appear adorable and docile but can fight back when provoked. Apart from being adorable but fierce fighters, badgers are also extremely important for the ecosystem and play an important role.
History of National Badger Day
National Badger Day is celebrated every year to appreciate the beauty of badgers and to share our love for these amazing animals with each other. The eclectic badger can be found all across the United Kingdom — with most of them being in south England. In North America, they live in the Great Plains region. Most badgers are members of the weasel family, Mustelidae, and mainly live in areas that are a mix of woodland and open country in a network of underground burrows and tunnels called ‘setts.’
The earliest traces of badgers date back several thousands of years. Today, they are almost a living symbol of the beautiful British countryside where they are popularly found. It’s no secret that these mysterious creatures bring massive joy to people lucky enough to encounter them in the wild.
Not just this, but badgers also play an integral part in the U.K’s ecosystems. Their existence contributes heavily to habitat heterogeneity, maintaining and regenerating soil health through foraging, and even helping to disperse seeds through their dung. They are also instrumental in creating new habitats for amphibians, invertebrates, and pollinators. Badgers also love to share and their tunnels even provide refuge for other wildlife.
American badgers are powerful and mostly nocturnal animals that capture their prey by rapid digging. Usually solitary, they feed mainly on rodents, ground squirrels, pocket gophers, mice, and voles. Other prey includes insects, reptiles, and eggs of ground-nesting birds.
Their European counterparts are omnivorous and consume earthworms, insects, small mammals, birds and their eggs, and also fruits and nuts. They are grayish with large black-and-white facial stripes.
National Badger Day timeline
According to paleontological evidence, badgers have been in the British Isles for at least 250,000 years
Badger-baiting is banned after opposition from animal rights activists under the “Cruelty to Animals Act of 1835” in England.
Badgers are gassed in Europe to control rabies and allegedly to curb the spread of bovine tuberculosis.
“Protection of Badgers Act" makes it an offense to kill, injure or take a badger or to interfere with its home without a license.
National Badger Day FAQs
Do badgers bite humans?
Though badgers seem friendly and cute, they can bite humans when hand-held. Hand-feeding badgers are also not recommended as they tend to bite promptly for defense. Badgers have an infamous grumpy nature, and when they bite, they can pierce through the skin and muscles.
Are badgers the most fearless animals in the world?
Badgers are fierce animals and are capable of fighting off larger animals like dogs. Honey badgers have been described in the “Guinness Book of Records” as the ‘most fearless animal in the world’ as they have fought off much larger predators including lions and hyenas.
How do you attract badgers to your garden?
Leave out vegetables like carrots with some cooked potatoes. Try to provide them with some fruits including apples, plums, pears, and unsalted peanuts or brazil nuts. If the food hasn’t been eaten overnight, remove anything that will go off and replace it with fresh food in the evening.
National Badger Day Activities
Go see badgers
Visit areas near you that are considered to be badger habitats. Be respectful and maintain distance as you admire these beautiful creatures. Badgers are found in many countries around the world so it shouldn’t be too hard to find them.
Help put an end to badger culling
Show your support in banning the inhumane practice of badger culling. They are suspected of spreading bovine T.B. but little evidence exists to prove this fact. Bovine T.B. is constantly present in the environment and can be carried harmlessly by many species. Write to your local representative to put an end to this shameful practice and choose to increase their focus on caring for cattle instead.
Treat them with kindness
Treat a badger with kindness the next time you run into one! Although they are predators, they are docile creatures unless provoked and may be grateful for any treats you leave out for them.
5 Facts About Badgers That Will Blow Your Mind
There are 11 species
They exist in 11 different species and may be found on every continent except South America, Antarctica, and Australia.
Lean mean digging machine
The den of an American badger can be as deep as ten feet, with more than 30 feet of tunnels along with a large area for sleeping.
They sometimes team up to hunt
American badgers are mainly solitary animals, but they sometimes work with other animals like coyotes if it helps them hunt.
Male badgers or boars usually mate with a single partner for life — making them monogamous creatures.
They have a strong sense of family
Some badger homes are over 100 years old as they are passed down to future generations — showing that they can be loving social creatures.
Why We Love National Badger Day
Some are at risk
Although most badger species are not considered at risk of endangerment, the greater hog badger is vulnerable and the Bornean ferret-badger is endangered. The greatest threat to the ferret-badger is its vulnerability to catastrophic events with climate change expected to harm them. Hog badgers have a declining population in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, mainly because of hunting for food.
They’re very hygienic
Maybe because of their powerful noses, badgers keep their homes in clean conditions by creating a latrine pit as a bathroom outside their burrow. They will never defecate in their homes and instead make a pit out of dried grass and leaves just outside their burrow.
It creates awareness about badger culling
The day can help spread awareness about the brutal process of badger culling where these gentle creatures are killed for being suspected carriers of bovine T.B. without much proof. The current cull in England was a commitment made by the Conservative Party in their election manifesto in 2010 and has been underway since 2013 — killing over 140,000 badgers.
National Badger Day dates