Are Badgers Dangerous? (Do They Attack Humans?)

Badgers are animals that belong to the weasel family, which includes animals like ferrets, otters, and even wolverines. They look similar to skunks or raccoons but are not a part of that family at all. There are 11 species of badgers with the most common ones being the American and European badgers.

Chances are you have not come across a badger at any point in your life because they prefer to keep to themselves. However, should you ever come across one (or one of your pets) then you will want to know if badgers are dangerous or not, which this article is going to find out.

Are Badgers Dangerous?

Badgers can indeed be dangerous because they are aggressive, have strong teeth, and have sharp claws. Though humans do not have to worry about being attacked by badgers because they usually leave humans alone. However, there have been cases where badgers have attacked people.

One infamous case involved a badger named Boris who lived at the Vale Wildlife rescue. After he escaped, he ended up biting two men, a woman and her dog, and another man who was minding his own business in his garage. The one in his garage even had to go to the hospital for his bites!

Why are Badgers so Dangerous?

We know badgers can be dangerous, but why are they dangerous? Because of their sharp teeth, powerful jaw, and claws they can be very dangerous if they were ever to attack you and/or a pet. The claws of a badger are very sharp and long.

This should not be a surprise because they live in elaborate burrow systems which they dig themselves. Obviously, they are going to need some powerful claws to dig up dirt.

The other reason is that they have very powerful jaws and teeth. If one happened to ever bite down on you, your fragile human skin could not stand up against that powerful and sharp set of teeth.

How Dangerous are Badgers?

Badgers are pretty dangerous in their own right because of their solid body, jaw, teeth, and claws. If they were to ever come across a human, dog, or other animal and felt cornered and threatened, then they would definitely go on the offensive and attack.

Any predator that felt threatened would do such a thing in order to protect themselves and/or their young ones.

Because badgers can injure you and attack if they feel threatened, it’s best to just give them a wide berth if you ever one in public. They like to do the same thing to humans, so with the both of you giving each other a wide berth, an encounter is very, very unlikely.

badgers-in-forest

Are Badgers Aggressive?

Badgers can absolutely become aggressive if they feel they are under threat or if their little ones need to be protected from a predator. These animals can absolutely hold their own against larger animals like eagles, dogs, lions, and wolves. Yes, they can not only hold their own but can even fight these large animals off. Now, if that isn’t impressive, I don’t know what is!

Because of this simple fact, badgers are very aggressive and have no problem becoming so if they or their young ones are threatened. They will do what they have to do to get rid of the threat, no matter the size or power of it.

How Powerful is a Badger’s Bite Power?

The bite force or bite force quotient of an animal is how powerful it is when they bite into the flesh of another animal. Some animals have stronger bite forces than others. For badgers, their bite force or bite force quotient is to 108.

Consider for a moment how powerful that is and imagine if those teeth were to sink into your flesh? This isn’t even considering the fact that badgers have sharp claws as well to aid them in their attack! With these two things combined, it makes the badger one you would certainly want to avoid like the plague.

Will a Badger Attack a Dog?

Recall that a badger will attack animals they feel are a threat, corner them, or happen to somehow threaten their young. This includes dogs. They will attack dogs if they run into a dog while they are out, doing their thing and they feel threatened. If the dog runs and avoids the badger, the badger is not going to pursue.

They will prefer if the dog does this and if there is a good amount of distance between them, they are probably just going to leave them alone.

If the dog gets too close, then it is going to be attacked and could be seriously injured. Even if the dog is much larger than the badger, badgers can and have been able to fend off dogs before and send them running with severe injuries.

Do Badgers Attack Humans?

We mentioned before that badgers rarely attack humans unless they are confronted by them. With Bros from the UK, he was scared and in an unfamiliar environment so even if the humans weren’t intentionally interacting with him; he viewed them as a threat and lashed out accordingly because he was unsure of what else to do.

Another case of a badger attacking a human was seen via viral online video where a man was bitten by a badger at a BBQ party. For some reason or another, a man showed up to the party holding one in his arms. The man that got bit wanted to pet it and when he did, it bit down on his hand.

Please never keep a badger as a pet or interact with one in this way. They are wild animals and very aggressive. This has to be mentioned again because some people don’t seem to get this about wild animals. They are not toys nor are they like domestic cats and dogs.

Do Badgers Have Predators?

Thanks to the fact that badgers are so darn aggressive, they have few natural enemies. Most animals prefer to just avoid them entirely because this is the safest thing to do in the long run. However, they do have a few enemies, which include:

· Golden eagles, which are some of the largest birds flying around out there.

· Coyotes who might be on the small end of the dog spectrum but are still pretty powerful in their own right.

· Bobcats, which are wild cats much larger than a badger.

· Humans, believe it or not, do so by hunting them because humans ruin everything. They hunt badgers for their pelts. The fur is used for shaving and painting brushes.

· Occasionally cougars, bears, and gray wolves can attack badgers.

It’s always possible that the badger could fend off one of these attackers like it can other larger animals. Don’t count the badger out just because these are some of its natural predators. If any animal is going to fend off one of these animals, it will be from a badger.

What do Badgers Usually Attack?

The badger’s usual prey and meals do not involve humans, dogs, cats, or anything like that. They tend to hunt animals like small mammals (rats, mice, squirrels, etc.), snakes and other reptiles, birds, and even insects.

These animals are much smaller and weaker than badgers so you can see they prefer to attack and hunt animals where they don’t have to put out that much effort.

Only if they are threatened are they likely to attack someone or something bigger than them. Most of the time they will just avoid you and you can help them with this by avoiding them just as strongly. Hey in the game of avoidance everyone wins and remains uninjured!

What Should You do if You Come Across a Badger?

If you come across a badger, which is unlikely, the best thing to do is to back away while keeping your eyes on them at all times. Keep putting as much distance between you and the badger as possible. Chances are they are not going to pursue you because they are scared you are a threat and don’t want you anywhere near them.

Could they approach you? Well, if they are injured or unwell, then it is possible they could because they just are not aware of what they are doing because they are not thinking clearly. Here, keep walking away. You want to do all you can to not find yourself being attacked by one.

Final Thoughts

Now you readers and animal lovers out there know that badgers are indeed aggressive and dangerous animals. This, of course, comes with a caveat. The badger is only going to be aggressive or dangerous if they find you to be a threat. Best way to avoid appearing a threat to a badger? Well, avoidance is key. Like we said, you avoid them, and they will avoid you. 

Disclaimer: This blog should not be considered as being professional pet medical advice. The content published on this blog is for informational purposes only. Please always consult with a licensed and local veterinarian for medical advice.

About Shaun Clarke

Shaun is passionate about pets and animals, especially dogs, cats, and rabbits. He owns a dog and a couple of cats too. He loves visiting wildlife sanctuaries and shares a strong bond with animals. When he is not writing, he loves to do a barbecue in the backyard with his family and friends.