European Badger

Latin Name Meles meles
Class Mammalia
Order Carnivora
Family Mustelidae
IUCN status Least concern
Habitat Woodlands, forests and adjacent grasslands
Distribution Throughout Europe and Russia

General Information

One of the largest members of the Mustelid family with a strong, powerful robust body of dense silvery grey fur. Their heads have the distinctive black and white striped pattern and white tips to the ears. Badgers can weigh up to
20–24 kg in autumn, before being less active over the winter but they do not hibernate.

Badgers are very sociable creatures, living in a family group of 5 – 20 members. They have a strong hierarchy and can be very territorial towards other rival family groups. A group of badgers is called a clan or cete or colony.

Fun Fact

Old, well-established setts, similar to ours, may have over 50 rooms underground with as many as 30 entrance/exit tunnels on ground level for just one colony!

Keeper Notes

Originally, five wild rescue badgers were released into this conservation sett before 1997. Since then keepers have continued to provide food and water to the sett. As you can see the old family have progressed with some impressive excavation works to their home. Some years, we have spotted several youngsters out playing in the late evening - even co-habiting with foxes - in the Wild Rescue Badger sett to the right hand side of the lynx enclosure in Wallaby Wood.

In the sett by the Nightwatch Barn, we currently have a wild rescued badger, Eira (boar). He joined us from a rescue centre in 2013 from Hart Wildlife Centre, after he was deemed unfit for release as a very small runt. Eira will have a new partner shortly as another wild rescue badger needs a new permanent home.