Are Badgers Dangerous to Humans, Dogs, And Cats?

Disclaimer: The information presented below is for general informational & educational purposes only. Always consult with animal professionals in case of specific concerns.

Badgers are small animals in the family Mustelidae, which include stoats, weasels, ferrets, and otters.

This species has small, short, and flattened legs, with long pointed feet, coarse hair all over the body, white stripes on the face, and gray to red fur color.

In addition, they also possess strong jaws with sharp teeth and clawed feet, which can become dangerous weapons.

With that in mind, you might be wondering, “are badgers dangerous?”

Keep reading to get the correct answer.

Are Badgers Dangerous?

In general, badgers are not dangerous.

They very rarely show aggressive behavior. So, as long as you do not threaten or upset them, they will not attack you.

Badgers will use their claws and teeth to defend themselves only when upset, threatened, or attacked by another predator.

In most cases, they won’t attack for no reason.

Badgers are wild animals with short, stout bodies and narrow noses. They have clawed feet and strong jaws with sharp teeth, allowing them to adapt to the wild.

This animal has no specific weight or size, depending on the breed and individual. Yet, these animals are mostly 20 to 30 inches in length and 8 to 39 pounds in weight.

Badgers can make a formidable opponent to any animal as a resilient and robust wild species. But this does not make them too dangerous, as they will only attack in self-defense.

Humans

Generally, this animal is not dangerous to humans.

Honey badgers are capable of attacking humans. However, they fear humans more than humans fear them.

So, they like to keep their distance from humans and can run away if you see them.

However, they will attack you reluctantly in self-defense if you threaten or harass them.

They possess nails and teeth that are pretty sharp, enough to cause severe injuries and can lead to permanent damage.

So don’t try to tease or catch Badgers if you don’t want them to attack or bite you aggressively.

Dogs

Badgers are not usually dangerous to dogs as they do not attack any animal for no reason.

Yet, when cornered or feeling threatened, honey badgers will fight back fiercely and can cause significant harm to dogs.

Many dogs make the mistake of chasing and playing with these animals. They can inadvertently make badgers become aggressive and attack in self-defense.

Otherwise, these animals will not harm or attack the dogs. They even try to keep their distance from the dogs.

Cats

Cats are also agile, have sharp claws and teeth, and can also jump and run fast.

However, badgers can be dangerous to cats because of their superior stature. Therefore, when a fight occurs, the honey badgers will prevail.

However, a badge poses no danger to cats unless it is threatened.

It will be very rare for a domestic cat to encounter a badger because they live in different habitats.

On the other hand, a badger kept as a pet can sometimes become uncomfortable at not being able to live in the wild. As a result, it can attack domestic cats for no reason, but very rarely.

Horses

Despite their smaller size than horses, badgers can still harm horses by biting horses’ legs. However, it will also only attack the horse when it feels harassed.

In addition, badger bites are not usually life-threatening to the horse. However, this species can also carry rabies, which can be dangerous and fatal to horses.

Up to now, there is only one report of a badger biting a horse’s leg and causing equine rabies.

Chickens

These animals pose a dangerous threat to chickens. Unlike other animals on this list, badgers often actively attack chickens because chickens are smaller in size and are their favorite food.

In addition, chicken is also a favorite food in the badger’s diet.

So if you want to protect your chickens from attack by these wild animals, it is essential to invest in a quality mesh fence buried at least 12 inches deep in the ground.

That way, badgers will not be able to reach your chickens by digging.

Hedgehogs

Badgers are also very dangerous to hedgehogs, and they are also the main predators of hedgehogs. As a result, hedgehogs often try to avoid badgers’ habitats.

Moreover, the smaller size of hedgehogs also makes them very vulnerable to badgers.

Cattles

This animal is a threat to cattle and can transmit some diseases to cattle, such as bovine TB.

Sheeps

The badger is not usually a potential danger to sheep, except for a few exceptions due to this species’ wild instincts. However, such cases are very rare.

Rabbits

Badgers have a habit of hunting and eating animals that are smaller than them, including rabbits. Therefore, this species is a predator of rabbits, and rabbits are also part of its diet.

Fox

These animals can also be dangerous for foxes, especially young foxes.

These animals possess sharp claws and teeth, and their physical attributes are also far superior to those of foxes. Hence, the honey badger will prevail in skirmishes.

Why are badgers dangerous?

are badgers dangerous

Despite their shy and docile appearance, badgers can become a risk, even causing severe harm to other animals, including humans.

So why may they be dangerous?

Here are three main reasons that can be used to explain this question.

Feeling Threatened

It is rare for a badger to actively attack an animal other than its prey. This animal only attacks as a defense when threatened or harassed in most cases.

Therefore, if you tease, threaten or scare it away, you will activate its survival mode, causing it to attack you.

Natural Instincts

As a wild animal, the badger also possesses the same dangerous properties as other species. It is brave and robust despite its small size.

In addition, the wild nature of these animals also makes them want to hurt smaller species, which can make them very dangerous to certain species.

Physical Attributes

These animals have traits of a wild predator, making them a threat to others below them in the food chain.

In addition, they also possess dangerous weapons that allow them to hunt more effectively, including strong limbs, sharp teeth, and extra-sharp claws.

These animals are courageous and very difficult to subdue. That’s why badgers are almost fearless when confronted with larger species, even lions.

Badger’s Behavior

These animals usually hunt at night. Thanks to powerful forelimbs, they can quickly dig tunnels to hide or capture prey.

Babies are usually conceived in the spring. They will live with their mother until about before autumn. After they are mature enough, they will leave their mother to create their own life.

Where Do Badgers Live?

These animals inhabit mainly the Great Plains of North America, the provinces of Western Canada, Pakistan, Tibet, China, Mongolia, and Mexico’s mountainous areas.

They also like to live in dry, open grasslands. In addition, some species prefer to live in rocky mountains, bushes, and forests.

Species of Badgers

Species of Badgers

You can find this species all over the world with many different species. Each species will feature different behaviors and characteristics.

Some species live as loners, while others live in communities that consist of 2 to 15 members.

Here are species that have been recorded, including:

  • The honey badger (or Mellivora capensis, sand badger)
  • The Palawan/Calamian stink badger (or Suillotaxus Marchei)
  • The Eurasian badger (or Meles meles)
  • The hog badger (or Arctonyx collaris)
  • 3 species of ferret badger (or Melogale)
  • American badger (or Taxidea taxus)
  • The Indonesian stink badger (or Mydaus Javanensis)

The subfamilies are:

  • Taxideinae
  • Melinae
  • Mellivorinae

What Do They Eat?

Badger food can vary depending on their breed. They can be omnivorous or carnivorous.

The meat-eating ones, such as American badgers, mainly eat moles, ground squirrels, pocket gophers, woodrats, marmots, prairie dogs, kangaroo rats, deer mice, eggs, birds, fishes, reptiles, and more,

The omnivore species, such as the European badgers, mainly eat nuts, corn, fruits, cereal crops, earthworms, insects, and slugs.

These breeds also eat vertebrates, for instance, moles, rats, shrews, mice, rabbits, snakes, lizards, frogs, and newts.

Are Honey Badgers Dangerous?

Badger possesses the potential to be one of the most dangerous and aggressive animals out there. The reason is that this species has impressive strength, ferocity, courage, and bravery.

Their physical strength is enough to injure larger species severely. In addition, their sharp teeth and strong claws can tear an opponent’s flesh as easily as a piece of cake.

The skin of this animal is also very sturdy and can hardly be pierced by typical arrows. Despite their small bodies, their skills are also good enough to fight with eagles, lions, wolves, etc.

This animal very rarely attacks other animals except for their prey. They will only attack in self-defense if they feel harassed or threatened.

These wild animals can hunt and kill fast-moving species such as rabbits, snakes, and birds. Badgers are also strong enough to defeat prairie dogs. They can even kill more aggressive animals like lions.

These animals can also dig in the ground to catch prey lurking in caves, and any creatures caught by them will have no way out.

The body of this species is perfect for survival in the wild. This animal has strong jaws and sharp teeth, allowing them to attack or defend itself effectively.

In addition, the badger’s digging ability and speed help it evade danger on time.

When another species attacks the badger, this animal will fight very resiliently and aggressively. Sometimes, a hungry predator will avoid hunting a honey badger because its remaining energy does not allow it to grapple with a badger.

Will A Badger Attack Humans?

A badger will not attack people for no reason. It will only show aggression if they feel threatened. When it encounters a human, its response is to walk away.

Of all the badger species, a honey badger can pose the most danger to you as it is the most aggressive and powerful member of the honey badger family.

If this species attacks you, they can do significant damage to you due to their strong and sharp claws.

So, when you come across this animal, we recommend running as far and quickly as possible for safety reasons.

However, the fact is that humans pose a more significant threat to this species than they do to humans.

Humans continue to hunt them for commercial and sporting purposes.

Furthermore, humans are also continuously developing activities such as agriculture and infrastructure development, leading to the destruction of this species’ natural habitat and food source.

So, what are the harmful effects of this species on humans? These animals can dig tunnels that divert human irrigation systems, negatively affecting horses and other livestock.

They can also kill and eat your livestock, such as chickens. This species also often attacks beehives, causing significant harm to beekeepers.

Therefore, these beekeepers will also kill this species to protect their commercial interests.

However, this relationship between humans and animals is not always negative.

These animals are predators of species that threaten human health and life, such as insects, rabbits, rats, and snakes.

Badgers’ presence in the ecosystem is essential in keeping such species away from your farm and home.

What To Do if You Come Across A Badger?

The possibility of this animal encountering you is very rare because it always tries to keep its distance from humans.

However, if you do come across a badger somehow, it will disappear within a few minutes in most cases. On your side, we recommend staying calm and getting away from this animal as quickly as possible.

Also, it is unwise to scare away this animal. Otherwise, it will feel threatened, leading to it attacking you.

Last but not least, if you see that an individual of this species does not move when it encounters you, it is highly likely to be injured.

In this case, you should not help it yourself either. It is wise to contact wildlife centers instead.

Why Are Honey Badgers So Aggressive?

These animals very rarely show their aggression. But they can become as aggressive as other dangerous wildlife.

Fearless

The significant reason that can cause a badger to become so aggressive is that this animal is very courageous. It can attack lions without fear if forced to do so.

Whatever the situation, these animals will find a way to defend themselves and aggressively attack their predators.

Physical Strength

Although not the size of a monster, badgers still possess extraordinary physical strength.

They have sharp claws, strong jaws, and teeth, allowing them to hunt and defend themselves effectively.

In addition, these animals are highly adaptive, allowing them to be immune to venomous reptiles, such as snakes.

Frightened or Threatened

When badgers are frightened or threatened by other animals, they display aggression as a defensive response.

The Bottom Line

In general, badgers have enough elements to be a dangerous wild species. However, it will often avoid facing species, not prey, including humans.

Therefore, this species will not attack you unless you threaten or harass it. When encountering a badger, it is best to stay as far away from it as possible for safety reasons.

Hopefully, our article has provided you with helpful information about this wild animal. Please share this article if it is helpful to you.

Thank you for reading.