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Badger cub found alone

Single adult badger emerging from sett at night. © RSPCA Photolibrary

Badger cubs are born as early as late December, although peak period is the beginning of February and cubs can be born as late as April.


Litters range from one to five cubs, but two or three cubs are most common. Cubs stay below ground; emerging from the sett at around eight to ten weeks old. They may continue to be dependent on their mother for some time afterwards.


Do not touch badger cubs unless they genuinely need help.


Caution! DO NOT attempt to handle badger cubs as they may bite.


If you find a badger cub on its own, if its eyes are open and it looks healthy, monitor it from a distance for 24 hours (at least overnight). Only intervene immediately if the cub is in immediate danger or the eyes are closed.


If you see a lone cub in immediate danger (such as by a road), sick or injured, or there are obvious signs that the sett has been damaged, keep a safe distance and call us on 0300 1234 999, making a note of exactly where you found the cub.


If you are worried that there is no adult badger with a cub, leave dog food and water nearby, and check again in 24 hours. Leaving food out daily will also help cubs during dry weather.


Badger cubs should only be taken into captivity as a last resort. Average stay in a wildlife centre is 6 months, which is a long time in a young badger’s life. Cubs taken into captivity must be handled as little as possible and it’s important to note the exact location where they were found in case they can be returned.


Please don’t try to rear a cub yourself! They need expert care to survive.


Badgers and their setts are protected by law under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.


Visit the Badger Trust website or read our Living with badgers (PDF 384KB) factsheet for more information.