Scrumping badgers: the proof

Last year my parents moved house, and I was delighted on my first visit to see badgers in garden several times. My suspicion was that they were scrumping the windfall apples. Sadly my camera trap let me down – the infrared light was broken, so I got lots of clips of darkness. Subsequent fleeting visits didn’t result in any badger footage either – maybe I put the camera in the wrong place, or maybe the badgers didn’t come on those nights.

A year later I returned, with a new and better camera trap, which I was able to leave in place for almost two weeks. Would I find definitive proof that the badgers were committing the crime of stealing the apples?

The camera trap triggered well over a hundred times those nights, so it took a while to sift through. There were plenty of clips of the neighbours’ cats out on the prowl, and quite a few of blackbirds.

There was also the footage I’d been hoping for: badgers. I don’t know how many individuals I recorded. There’s only ever one in frame at the same time, but it could be different ones in different clips. They seemed to visit for three nights in a row, and then disappear for a few nights, before showing up now and then.

And yes, I was able to confirm my suspicions: they were eating the windfalls.

My dad is highly indignant that badgers are stealing his apples, but given that he would have just left them on the lawn to rot, or have to move them to mow the lawn, I don’t think he’s got much of a case. If he wanted them himself, all he needs to do is pick them up before nightfall. It’s lovely to finally get pictures of badgers, in the wild, snuffling about.

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