VIDEOS: New generations at badger castle

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Mon, 25.06.2018 - 10:51
Autorid

Text and videos  Tiit Hunt, rmk.ee
Translation Liis

 

Estonian text posted 21.06.2018

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In the badger castle there have been animal family idylls as well as life-threatening fights, and as visitors we have seen elks, deer and roe deer. The castle with 19 openings must accommodate at least a raccoon dog family with seven offspring, and a badger pair with two cubs – if all are at home.

We don’t really know thoroughly what the relationship between the badgers and the racoons in the badger castle might be. The occasion when the raccoon dog attacked the badger cub in camera view brought up a discussion of the harsh laws of nature and how these two species might be able to manage their lives side by side in a badger castle.

 

 

When the introduced species raccoon dog was not yet present in Estonia the life of badgers was probably more peaceful and it may be surmised that without the secretive sub-tenant the badger family could have closer ties  to the castle particularly when the cubs were still quite small. Before the introduction of the raccoon dogs at the end of the 1950ies badgers had to share territory only with foxes – now however with both species. When the badger cubs are not safe even in their own home the badger female must find a more secure place until the young badgers can stand up for themselves.

This spring there has been frequent fighting and pursuing between the adult badgers and raccoon dogs in the castle, probably because both have had litters needing protection. If they could they would probably have killed each other’s offspring. The seven pups of the raccoon dog we have no longer seen together in camera view, whether any of them might have been killed by accident or by the badger.

When the badger female is back with the cubs on the home hillock and the raccoon dogs are not in sight the cubs play and romp…

 

…and when the badger family is away from home the raccoon dogs enjoy themselves …

 

 

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