Ollie’s Badger Hunt

The European Badger is one of the most common large omnivores seen in Britain. They are predominantly nocturnal, and live underground in burrows. In this country, they are mosly seen dead, killed by traffic as they cross the road. In fact I had never seen a live one, until this afternoon.

Livestock farmers hate them, as they are blamed for carrying TB, and infecting cattle. They are routinely trapped and killed here, as well as being gassed in their burrows, which are called ‘Setts’.

As with many wild animals, lack of human activity during the pandemic lockdown has made them bolder, and they have been extending their territories.

Over in the darker wooded section of Hoe Rough this afternoon, Ollie stopped dead, looking across at the undergrowth. I could also hear what had attracted his attention, a loud rustling, accompanied by a snuffling sound. I thought at first it might be another dog, but then a large badger appeared, very much like the one in the photo above.

Ollie had also never seen a badger, but he was instictively off after it, feeling the need to hunt it down. I tried calling him back, as badgers have sharp teeth and claws, so could have given my dog an injury. I also didn’t want Ollie to hurt the animal. But he was having none of it, and was circling the dense area of overgrown bracken where the badger had gone to ground. Luckily, he got bored (and too hot) soon enough, and Ollie’s first badger hunt was over.

Until the next time.

53 thoughts on “Ollie’s Badger Hunt

  1. I guess I will no longer think of them as cute. Since we don’t have any, my only exposure was to anthropomorphized badgers in books. Reading all these comments, I see I was very mislead!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are only fierce if cornered. You do have them in America, and they look similar, but are more or less unrelated. Maybe not seen in New England though. Here is one. (Click on the blue icon)

      Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. They strike me as slow moving, so I’m glad the close encounter was avoided, Ollie and you could do without a visit to the vets.
    I have still to see a badger I thought we had a sett nearby only to discover it was a fox den the other day as a number cubs darted for cover as I approached 🙂

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  3. Over here dogs off leads are illegal which given my wariness around large dogs helps but these days not everybody seems to follow that law. Ollie wouldn’t worry me though 🙂 although I heard when Ollie and you Rollin down the fly from ya crib apparently people scuffle in your wake. 🙂 Pretty wild to see something in the wild. Will always treasure seeing the echidna in the wild.

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    1. Ollie has a lead for when we near any roads, but I like to give him his freedom elsewhere. It was a first for seeing badgers, so I will be wary in that spot in future. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. First off, I love the photo of the badger coming in the direction of the photographer. I know that badgers have a nasty disposition, so it’s a good thing Ollie did not catch up to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. If you taught them to play football like our Wisconsin Badgers here in the USA, they could hit each other on the field instead of getting hit by cars on the road….and just think how cute they’d look in their little uniforms and helmets. 😉

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  6. I once watched for a good long while as a badger worked on removing a metal trash can lid in a picnic area in Valley of Fire State Park. He eventually popped it off and plundered the contents.

    (Due to its proximity to Las Vegas, the state park has served as a film location many times. Among the films: “The Professionals” and “Star Trek: Generations.” Yep, cowboys and aliens…)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We have quite a few badgers around here, so far without TB. I hate seeing them dead on the road. One came charging across the road in front of our car one night. The badger was just fine, the car bumper less so.

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      1. Unfortunately they are not very clever about changing their routes even in the face of danger. On the by-pass near me, the contractors built tunnels so the badgers can cross under the road – but no, they prefer to take their chances sticking to the route they have always used. We have a phone number to call when we spot a dead badger. Have you ever checked if they really have been run over or shot and dumped on the side of the road.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I would imagine that the change in human activity has instigated possibly significant wide-ranging changes in non-human activity as well; whether these latter changes will be permanent remains to be seen: I would guess not, but I’m no naturalist! Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 2 people

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