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Badgers are bear like animals with stocky 3 foot long bodies, short tails and short, powerful legs that are armed with sharp claws. One of the most elusive mammals, the badger is nocturnal and so wary that it is rarely seen by man. They are carnivorous animals in the Mustelidae family with the otter, stoat and weasel. The American badger is widespread from southwestern Canada to central Mexico. Badgers walk on the soles of their feet much like bears, showing five toes in their footprints. Even though they appear to have a coat that is gray, the hairs on this animal are actually black and white. The underside is black and a badger's head is white with two wide stripes running from behind the ears to the muzzle.

Although many nocturnal animals are thought to be active during the day, the badger will emerge from his setts about one hour after sunset in the autumn and winter, even earlier in the summer months. Upon emerging if he becomes aware of a suspicious sound or scent, he will return to his setts for the night. In many cases they will not leave their shelter at all on bright moonlit nights. Setts, as badger holes are called, are large in size with a mass of earth and stones at the entry. The signs of a badger's presence is unmistakable since they leave well worn paths from the entrance of their setts to the nearest stream or pond. A scratching post will always be close to the entrance of their setts where the badger stands on its hind legs and scratches the trunk of a tree with its forepaws. Woodlands or favored for the badgers setts and usually an area of sandy soil.

It is believed that male and female badger pair for life, mating in July or August. The embryos remain in the female until December or January before beginning to grow. The female will give birth to between one and five young that are about 5 inches long. The young will stay underground for the first 6 to 8 weeks. When they first leave the setts, the female will appear sniffing the air and behaving more cautiously than usual. She then turns and coaxes her cubs out. At the beginning the young will stay out for very short periods of time but after a week they become bolder. A while later the adults will begin taking the cubs to learn how to feed themselves. The badger lives on a wide variety of soft foods. One of their main staples are earthworms. They will also eat mice voles, moles, frogs, snails, beetles, wasps and occasionally hedgehogs. This is supplemented with apples, bulbs, acorns, blackberries and grass. In fact, badgers are known to cause great damage to cereal crops by flattening large areas when they eat these grains. There is an occasional occurrence of poultry killing done by badgers, but in most cases this is not typical.

The badger has a reputation for being an especially clean animal. This is because they are known to frequently change their bedding and dig latrines outside their setts. The teeth of the badger are strong with large ridges around the hinges of the jaw that prevent them from dislocating. The strong claws on the front of the feet are used mostly for digging but if frightened, this animal can put up a very tough fight. Striking a defensive posture, the badgers hair will stand on end and it with show it wicked looking teeth to its predator.