We’re all familiar with the fairy tale, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”.
Here’s a real-life version, with a honey badger instead of Papa, Mama, and Baby Bear.
Badgers are short-legged omnivores in the family Mustelidae, which also includes the otters, polecats, weasels, and wolverines.
On October 18, 2017, Scotland’s SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) was alerted to a badger being found in a house at Beecraigs Country Park in Linlithgow.
As recounted on the Scottish SPCA website:
We were called to the property after the badger had snuck into the property through the cat flap and made himself comfy on the cat bed.
Animal Rescue Officer Connie O’Neil said, “I got a surprise when I arrived at the property and saw a badger having a nap! He had gotten in through the cat flap and had eaten all the cat food before going for a sleep on the cat bed. He didn’t seem too happy when I tried to move him but I was able to slide the cat bed round and it was then that the badger noticed the back door was open so made a run for it!”
Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said, “It is highly unusual for a wild badger to enter a house and we would urge anyone to immediately contact our animal helpline on 03000 999 999 should they find one in an unusual place. Like all wild animals badgers can be aggressive when injured or cornered so we would advise not to go near or touch them without giving us a call first.”
Badgers are nocturnal and live underground in burrows called setts. Some are solitary, moving from home to home, while others are known to form clans of 2 to 15 badgers each. Badgers can run or gallop at 16–19 mph for short periods of time. In North America, coyotes sometimes eat badgers and vice versa, but the two species have also been seen hunting together in a cooperative fashion.
Although rarely eaten today in the United States or the United Kingdom, badgers were once a primary meat source for the diets of Native Americans and white colonists. Badgers were also eaten in Britain during World War II and the 1950s, but are now a protected species. In some areas of Russia, the consumption of badger meat is still widespread.
Badgers have been trapped commercially for their pelts, used for centuries to make shaving brushes. Virtually all commercially available badger hair now comes from badger farms in China. The European badger is also used as trim for some traditional Scottish clothing.
Badgers can be tamed and then kept as pets, but the practice is outlawed in the UK under the 1992 Protection of Badgers Act.