Badgers are released in restored habitat in central Illinois

One of two badgers brought to the Illinois Raptor Center last spring, growls its appreciation as it is about to be released at the prairie restoration site owned by longtime volunteers Phil and Trish Quintenz.

They have undertaken the formidable task of returning farmland near Palmyra to native prairie, forest and wetland habitats.

Also released at the property was a beaver, which was brought to our center last spring. See below for more pictures and natural history information about badgers.

 

 

Above left and right: A beaver finds its way in a creek on the central Illinois farm of Phil and Trish Quintenz. Habitat restoration efforts on the farm include establishment of native prairie plants, creation of a wetland, and the addition of wildlife food crops.

Right: One of the two badgers looks back briefly before going on his way. The badgers were released during the first week of September 2001.

Photographs from video taken by Jane Seitz.

 

Don't "Badger" the Badgers!

If you see a badger - best leave it alone!  Keep reading, we will tell you why..........

These baby badgers were at the wrong place at the wrong time.  Even though badgers are extremely effective at rodent control around farm fields - their diet is almost strictly meat - they are not welcome residents of farms. They make large holes in fields, ruining crops.  They are especially not wanted on farms with hooved livestock. The livestock can suffer injury if they step into the hole of a badger den. These babies were removed for such a reason. Badgers have very few predators. Man is their greatest enemy. 
 
The two baby badgers weigh 26 oz. and 30 oz.  We know they are over 28 days old because their eyes are open.  Even at this early age they growl loudly

when they are scared or when they are hungry.  They have no teeth right now but we will definitely have to watch our fingers in a few weeks!!!
 
Badgers are not built for running so they have to be ferocious to defend themselves.  They can fend off a pack of dogs!  When cornered, since they can't run, they will start digging their way out of the situation.  They can actually outpace a man with a shovel.  And one of their defenses is to dig so fast that they throw dirt in the face of their attacker. 
 
Badgers are really tough - not just in spirit but physically also.  A rattle snake cannot penetrate their skin.  The only vulnerable place on their body is their nose. 
 
In ancient times it was sport to bait badgers - hence the saying "to badger". 

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