Badgers

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Badgers are diggers. They live in families and clans making cave systems where groundwater is deep and there is some solid rock layer that can serve as a ceiling. In Slitere National Park this layer is sandstone. Badger rut is in the middle of summer when they are rutting quite passionate. Mating can last even one hour. After that latent period starts and fertilized ovum starts developing only six months later, when winter has ended and spring has begun.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYUlqgtJ3cE

In early spring young ones are born. They spend their first 2 months in dark caves. Usually they come out of the cave in June and stay near it. They start to explore the surroundings. At first they stay beside the entrance of the cave and sometimes explore few meters around it. Parents do not mind. When frightened, cubs run into the cave without hesitation. After some time mother starts to walk around with cubs at first some 10 meters away from the cave and then further and further. The young ones tries to copy mothers behaviour and learns how to find food – invertebrates, small rodents, amphibians and reptiles, berries and grain. They also learn how to escape enemies and explore surroundings. In autumn, cubs become independent. Sometimes, if the cave system is large enough, parents let the little ones stay in empty part of the cave system, but usually young badgers spend their first winters someplace else. Before winter badgers clean their caves and bring in new materials like moss, ferns and grass. When weather becomes colder they dig special caves to sleep in and go to sleep. Some narrow vertical tunnels serve as aperture for ventilation. They use up their fat layer during winter but sometimes in early spring you can see badger track in the snow. Even for badger it is hard to sleep all winter.