How Do American Badgers Fight? (Who Do They Fight, And Why?)

Badgers And Their Aggressive Tendencies

American Badgers are notoriously known to be aggressive when threatened. Wild animals, like badgers, show aggression as a means of showing other animals or humans that they do not care for their presence and that they need to leave them alone. 

These animals are known to be solitary and shy. Usually, a badger is not seen with other animals (except for coyotes) and other badgers, foraging or hunting for food.

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The badger retreats to the nearest hiding place whenever it senses other beings as a means of caution. The badger will attempt to hide until the coast is clear. It never socializes with other animals even other badgers except when it’s time to mate. 

However, when threats are imminent, and it has no time to hide, it will display its aggressive behavior by baring its teeth, showing its claws, and posing for an attack. It will also release a unique and unpleasant scent like that of a skunk but slightly less repulsive. This is to warn the possible predators to stop and go away. 

Fights Between Badgers

Although not frequent, there are several recorded incidents of badgers fighting against each other. While a badger is usually a shy creature that keeps to itself, it is pretty territorial. It will clash with another badger when it feels that the other badger is encroaching on its territory, den, or its hunting ground. 

A badger’s territory can be as big as four square miles, but this can vary depending on the amount of food available in an area.

When prey is abundant, the badgers’ territories don’t need defending, despite the territories overlapping. This is because badgers have no problem sharing food sources with one another, as long as there is enough for everyone.

When food is scarce, however, like other territorial animals, they will fight with other badgers for their claim on the area. 

Reasons That Badgers May Fight

Badgers are really quite the fighters. As mentioned, territorial disputes are the usual reason for these fights. Badgers are quite territorial and will go to great lengths to defend their place and their hunting grounds. They will also not hesitate to attack another badger when it feels threatened. 

Badgers may also fight during mating season. They are promiscuous animals which means that they have no single partner and do not form a monogamous bond. Aggressive behavior is seen as part of their mating rituals.

During the mating season, male badgers will often make calls to the female inside the burrow, coaxing her to come out. Once the female is outside, the male will attempt to subdue her by biting her neck and marking her with his scent.

At this point, the female may bite back. The male will continue the biting and marking until he is able to successfully mount the female. 

Badgers Versus Other Animals

Despite being very territorial, badgers aren’t always aggressive. But yes, they will fight other animals when necessary.

Badgers will fight other animals over territory, their own safety, and to protect their young. A female badger or sow will go to great lengths to protect her cubs. Since cubs are furless and blind upon birth, they are quite helpless and do need protection.

Animals like foxes would consider a baby badger an easy meal, but the mother badger will keep her baby safe by fighting back. 

Other wild animals such as eagles, wild cats, wolves, and bears, prey on badgers. When a badger senses danger from other animals, it will try to scare them off with its teeth-baring and growling behavior.

This tactic is usually enough to discourage the predator from attacking. Nevertheless, when provoked further, the badger will certainly fight. 

Badgers are nocturnal animals, and they normally hunt at night, but while hunting during the night, it’s very likely that they, too, are being hunted by some other, bigger predator.

When confronted by a predator, a badger will warn its opponent to stay away by showing a threatening stance. Nevertheless, when the predator is tenacious, the badger will have no other option but to attack. 

Records show that badgers are quite dangerous when they really go at it. They do not hold back when fighting and can take down animals, quite a bit larger than themselves. 

How Do Badgers Fight?

Badgers are ferocious fighters from the Mustelidae family. This is the same group where wolverines, otters, ferrets, and weasels belong. As with the other carnivores, their teeth are quite sharp. Four out of its 34 teeth are sharp canines, perfect for tearing apart the flesh of other animals.  

A badger normally sends warning signals to ward off predators before engaging in a fight. It will show its sharp teeth and claws. If that doesn’t work, it will make a threatening pose with its butt raised off the ground, and it gives off a strong scent and will hiss, or sometimes even growl.

When an animal refuses to heed the warning, the badger will bite and latch onto the attacking animal. If it has the upper hand, it will not give the opponent the ability to strike back. With its sharp teeth, try to subdue and hurt the attacking animal. It will fight relentlessly until the opponent either manages to run away or is severely injured. 

Badger Fighting Sounds 

Badgers do not fight quietly. They make noises but not as loud as dogs or cats that are fighting. Badgers give hissing and growling sounds as a warning.

They can also snarl at a threat. When attacking another animal, badgers will bite an opponent while making distinct screeching sounds. 

Badgers And Post-fighting Injuries

Because badgers are fierce fighters armed with sharp teeth and claws, they can seriously injure an opponent including another badger. However, badgers have built-in defense features in their bodies that lessen the impact of a brutal attack.

They have very sharp teeth, steel-like claws, powerful limbs, thick fur, and loose skin which they are able to utilize to their advantage during fights. Badgers are also quick.

Since the badger is covered with thick fur, it takes long and sharp teeth to penetrate their skin. With its loose skin, it can escape despite being gripped or bit by another animal during a fight.

Like wrestlers in hand-to-hand combat, they fight furiously and fiercely. But sometimes, they are unable to escape the harm. Animal societies have received reports about injured badgers where fighting occurred. 

Badgers Versus Snakes

So, are badgers really immune to snake bites? Yes, it would certainly appear that way! In reality, badgers aren’t immune to venom, but they’re highly adapted to evade getting bitten in a serious way. Too bad for the snakes! 

In a way, badgers are even more dangerous assassins than snakes. The badgers’ thick fur and loose skin do not allow snake fangs with venom to penetrate. That is unless the bite is aimed at their noses which are furless.

Badgers, however, are known lovers of exotic food, and they’re one of the rattlesnake’s most fierce predators. They hunt these snakes for food even though they prefer smaller mammals with rodents being their favorites. Once the badger takes down its prey, it will drag it down to its den for a feast. Badgers eat the rattlesnakes like a scrumptious meal except for the head. 

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