American Badger Cub
Tucson Wildlife Center recently admitted an animal most Arizona residents have probably never seen in the wild … the nocturnal American Badger. This cub, estimated to be about 12 weeks old, was brought to TWC after being found away from its den and alone. Typically, badger babies first emerge from their den at five to six weeks, but do not leave their mothers until they are five to six months old.
The American Badger lives an average 9-10 years in the wild and uses dens and burrows for sleeping, hunting, storing food and giving birth. A badger may change dens every day, except when it has babies. Badgers have been seen working with coyotes in tandem while hunting. A ground squirrel, upon spotting a coyote, will crawl into its hole to escape; while upon seeing a badger, the ground squirrel will climb out of its hole and use its speed to outrun the badger. Hunting in tandem raises the prey vulnerability and both predators win. *
TWC’s goal of wildlife rehabilitation is to release recovered animals back into the wild. As such, we take steps to provide them with the care they need while not imprinting or habituating them (having them become used to humans). We minimize handling and limit the number of staff who work with them. And to ensure they do not associate human voices with the arrival of food, we do not talk in their presence. Unfortunately, this little badger appears too habituated by the people who unwittingly raised her when she probably should have been left alone where they found her. She may now have to live a life in captivity—not the best thing for any wild animal.
TWC would like to remind everyone that should you happen upon a baby wild animal you believe needs to be rescued, it is important to first take a step back and assess the situation before you act. Many times, it is best to leave the baby alone, as its best chance of survival is with its mother. Wildlife parents are very devoted to their young and will not intentionally abandon them. If you have found a baby and do not see the mother, call TWC for advice on next steps.
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