Video: badger family on the prowl

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SUSSEX Express photographer Peter Cripps was out walking his dog Fudge near Ripe when this family of badgers sidled up to him

The usually shy animals didn’t seem at all bothered by their presence, so Peter pulled out the video camera, whilst keeping Fudge under control.

Badger

Badger

Badgers grow up to 75cm from head to tail, with a 15cm tail and can weigh up to 12 kg.

The animals, which are members of the Mustelidae (animals with musk bearing glands under their tails) or weasel family, live in woods and copses, especially if it’s close to pastureland.

Badgers are widespread in the UK and are found all across Europe.

They live in groups of up to 15 in a sett, a series of tunnels and nesting chambers dug into the ground, lined with moss and grass, which is renewed by the badgers frequently.

And they even build their own toilets away from the sett.

The animals are omnivores, eating food such as worms, beetles and mice, as well as acorns, fruit and roots.

Badgers have lived in Britain for at least 250,000 years. There are thought to be between 250,000 and 310,000 badgers in the UK.

They are nocturnal and are rarely seen during the day.

Their eyesight is not particularly good and like many animals, badgers cannot see colour - only black, grey and white, but they can make out shapes, and movements.

They have very good hearing and an excellent sense of smell.

It is thought that the badger’s sense of smell is 700 to 800 times better than ours.

Most badgers live up to around five to eight years in the wild, although in captivity one made it to the grand old age of 19.