Badgers ate our breakfast

I have spent the last few days camping with some friends. Around 2am I was just drifting off to sleep when i heard a chewing noise somewhere close. Fine, maybe one of my friends was having a night time snack. But wait, I can also hear a rustling noise, and the chewing is getting pretty loud and sloppy. And snorting, something is snorting.

Just as I was pondering this my friend sat bolt upright, ripped open the mozzy net type door of the tent and screamed “GET OUT!”

There was an enormous badger in the porch of our tent, snuffling and snorting around in our stuff. Although I’ve always thought that badgers were quite cute, unexpectingly finding a large growling one about a foot away from my feet was quite a shock. What made it even more frightening was the fact that the badger wasn’t scared. It stared at us for a few beats, wandered out THEN WANDERED BACK IN. We screamed and tried to blind it with a torch.

We spent the rest of the night sat bolt up right watching for badgers in the porch through the mozzy net door. They came back a number of times, pushing under the flaps of the tent, and stole our belongings right infront of our eyes, completely unfazed by our hysterical hissing and torch waving. They took an entire pack of Animal Crackers, a large bag of Doritos Dippas, a packet of Crofter’s Crunch Cookies, a half full packet of rice, some empty bags and an entire tub of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. Bastards.

When they weren’t stealing and rustling they were walking around and around our tent and making these horrible guttural growling noises. The worst bit came at about 4am when I absolutely had to go to the toilet. I waited until everything had gone quiet. I peeked out of the tent. No badgers. As quietly as I could I unzipped the tent and stepped out into the field. No badgers in front of me. I couldn’t resist looking behind me and there were three of the creatures watching me from the edge of the woods. Needless to say I ran screaming and flapping in flip flops across the field to the toilet block and I stayed in there for the next twenty minutes.

Har har har. Very funny, badgers.

Where were you? One time I was lost in Wisconsin, trying to get to my parents new home. I had to go to the bathroom so bad when all of a sudden two HUGE racoons ran out and sat down in front of my car. It was like they knew I had to pee!

England - I’m not used to wildlife attacking me!

Mozzy net? They have badgers in Australia?

Did they move England to Australia? Or have I been wooshed?

I don’t know about badgers in Australia but there are mozzies in England. And Badgers.

What? You didn’t get the Badggy net portico to begin with?? :eek:

Ah, so happy the wildlife we come across while camping here is of the two legged type.

Standard camping practise every where I’ve been is to put all your food in a bag and hang it from a high branch for exactly this reason. In the US, our major problem is black bear, but the principle is the same – you don’t want to attract creatures to the area you’re sleeping in.

Although looking at the list of food that these badgers stole, I can’t help but feel that they did you a favor.

Second on the high branch technique, or the alternative, inside a cooler inside the car. And not even that in grizzly country; they’ll rip open the car to get at the cooler. At Yosemite, they provide you with bear-proof metal bins to store your food in for that very reason.

It was always fun persuading the 10-year-old Girl Scouts that no, it is NOT a good idea to sneak snacks at night. I’ve been sleeping in a tent when a bear came along and raided the garbage can (sunk in the ground with an allegedly bear-proof lid that took the bear all of 1/2 second and one good swipe to remove) near our camping site. So I’d tell 'em horror stories. Hey, whatever works.

If that was breakfast, I feel sorry for the badgers – wonder if they had little badger tummyaches?

Placing food in or even near your tent is a recipe for disaster. Many campers have been seriously injured or killed because they brought a single candy bar to bed with them.

Wild animals have an incredibly effective sense of smell. The enhanced aromas of processed foods are akin to a large glowing neon sign saying:


You actually got off relatively easy. Badgers and wolverines are legendary in their ability to take down prey anywhere up to ten times their size. They are renowned as being, pound-for-pound, some of the fiercest mammals in existence. They have been known to kill hunters. I’d say you got off rather lightly. Learn to cache your food if you value your life.

If that’s what they ate, then I guess this web site is inaccurate.

Yikes! I guess badgers are a wee bit more aggressive than beavers (what’s the difference between the two, anyone know)?

fizzy: Your story made me laugh out loud, thanks – I was actually envisioning a Stephen King book as I read it.

I guess the lesson is: if you walk into their (diminishing) habitat, you better be prepared/educated. I’m glad you survived your “Blair Badger Project” experience…

Well thanks for the bear and wolf advice guys - thing is the scariest thing you tend to find when camping here in England are earwigs, so it’s not general practice to hide the food. I’ve been camping my whole life and i’ve never been molested by woodland animals before.

Also, seeing as we were in the middle of a large field without a car, there wasn’t really anywhere else for the food to go.

Dude, that was my breakfast!

Didn’t know that. Glad I didn’t know that then

Blonde: Thanks, I laughed too when all the growling had stopped. Have you read King’s ‘The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon’? It was like that, only worse…

You ar extremely lucky to get cthat close to them, they are incredibly shy creatures.

This lot have to be familiar with people, it is not unusual for weekend country dwellers to leave food out for them, full timers know better.

Given that they were this bold, you would have been well advised to retreat completely, they can be ferocious, their short jaws are very powerful, think along the lines of a bull terrier but somewhat faster.

There is a good reason why those badger hunters take several large dogs with them, and shotguns.

Very likely you also camped on one of their foraging routes, they are creatures of habit and very stubborn, they really do not not care about what mankind has built in their territory or on one of their walkways, they will damn well use it.

Their paths are often so well defined you would think they were man made and they inhaibt theri setts for many decades, some setts are over 100 years old, which gives some idea of their obstinacy.

We hadn’t anywhere else to keep the food! And we thought the tent pretty secure, didn’t expect badgers to come shoving their way under the zips.

We couldn’t retreat completely - they had us trapped. And they knew it, I could see it in their eyes.

We thought that they must be used to foraging in people’s tents as well. We asked at reception the next morning whether it was common to see badgers in the tent fields and the woman looked at us blankly.

And I agree, we were lucky to get that close, even though it is apparent now that they are pretty dangerous.

Just FYI, badgers are viscious bastards, and not to be trifled with.

Stay clear. They are not cute, and can do you serious hurt.

Someone please tell me that I’m not the only one who thought “Well, why didn’t you just poke it with a spoon?” :smiley:

Seriously, though, they are nasty little beasties and I’m glad that all they got was your brekkie, fizzy.

You may wish to investigate an Ursack. These are special “bulletproof” flexible bags. They are supposed to be bear resistant, so it would be a safe assumption that they will stand up to badgers. Other rigid aluminum or plastic containers will probably work just as well.

Blonde, beavers are semi-aquatic herbivores. Badgers and wolverines are omnivores. Beavers most often attack humans in episodes of the Simpsons. Wolverines and badgers most often attack humans whenever they d@mn well please. Wolverines and badgers have very few predators. Catamounts, pumas and cougars are some of the only ones that dare, and even then, only as a last resort. Imagine an absolutely fearless low-slung air breathing sort of dog sized land-going piranha that is more obstinate than ten mules put together. Now, think worse.


We don’t need no stinkin’ badgers!

I’ve just elevated badgers to “blob found on the Chile coast” status in the “creatures I don’t want to encounter” list.

Would love to see a puma/cougar/panther/catamount, though. Zen, humor me and agree that those are all names for the same cat. There’s a few of them left in the Rockies, for now.