Badger cub found alone

Young badgers are called badger cubs and can be born as early as late December, although the 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 and emerge from their sett around eight to ten weeks old. They may continue to be dependent on their mother for some time afterwards. 

What to do if you find a badger cub

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).
  • If you're worried that there's no adult badger with the 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 can bite, so don't handle them. Only touch them if they genuinely need help.

When to contact us about a badger cub

If you see a badger cub alone, contact us if:

  • It's in immediate danger (such as by a road)
  • It's sick or injured
  • There are obvious signs that the sett has been damaged

Keep at a safe distance and contact us, making a note of exactly where you found the cub.

Badgers in captivity

Badger cubs should only be taken into captivity as a last resort. Their average stay in a wildlife centre is six 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 and facilities to survive.

Badgers are protected animals

Badgers and their setts are protected by law under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992. You can find out more in our Living with badgers fact sheet.

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