American Badgers, Swimming, Bathing, and Other Water Activities

The American badger (Taxidea Taxus) is a fossorial mustelid that thrives living underground. A lot has already been discussed about the badger’s habitat and behavior when on land. But information about the animal’s behavior and activities related to water is rarely mentioned.

One might wonder: How does the badger fare when it is near bodies of water?

Can badgers swim? What do badgers do when they come across a stream or a pond? Perhaps the animal is scared of water and would want to stay away as much as possible. Come join Floofmania and together, let’s find out.

Are American Badgers Afraid of Water?

Despite the fact that American badgers stay on land or underground most of the time, they are not afraid of water. They spend a lot of time near river banks or streams and they frequent wet, moist, and watery areas in search of their staple food—worms and small animals.

Badgers can detect the gushing waters through their keen sense of hearing. Once they reach the edge of the water, their sharp sense of smell kicks in to guide them to where the food is. 

American badgers are nocturnal creatures and greatly depend on their sharp senses to freely move around looking for food and avoiding predators. And speaking of water, they sometimes jump into the water when the standoffs against predators are unwinnable. 

However, badgers still prefer to hide in their burrows more than in bodies of water for their safety. You may never see a badger escape by jumping into the water for a couple of reasons. First, they do not have a lot of natural predators, and second, they do not get scared easily.

Do American Badgers Cross Rivers?

Yes, badgers can cross rivers if the need arises. Like other mustelids, the fierce badger doesn’t fear anyone or anything. Even large bodies of water like rivers don’t scare them. 

Albeit its known habitats are plains, prairies, and woodland edges, the North American badger can be seen near freshwater ecosystems like the Mississippi River and Lake Erie in the Norfolk and Middlesex areas in Canada. The American badger exists in large parts of North America.

Can An American Badger Swim? Are They Good Swimmers?

Like most mustelids, badgers can swim. In fact, most mammals can swim. Their proficiency in swimming varies though. Badgers are pretty good swimmers. Swimming for them is just like taking a stroll in the wilderness.

American badgers that live near freshwater habitats are occasionally seen swimming across streams and rivers to get to their destination.

Can American Badgers Dive Underwater?

Badgers are not just good swimmers, they can also dive underwater without trouble at all. They have the ability to dive, but it’s not very common to see a badger swim underwater. 

Like other members of the Mustelidae family, badgers can hold their breath for a few minutes; thus preventing water from entering their lungs or from getting swallowed.

Why Do American Badgers Swim and Dive?

Most people do not think of badgers as an animal that can swim and dive underwater. It is probably because swimming and diving are pretty rare for these furry creatures. Badgers do swim and dive as a last resort when other means of crossing a body of water or escaping from predators are not available. 

Here are a couple of reasons why badgers are rarely seen swimming or diving:

Badgers Look For The Dry Route Most Of The Time

Badgers will only swim if there’s no other way to cross. Most of the time, they will walk around the lake or pond to get to the other side. When they come across streams or rivers, they will try to find and jump on floating logs or debris.

If such options are not available, the poor badger will have no choice but get its feet and fur into the water for a quick swim.

Badgers Prefer To Fight Than Turn Their Backs

Another reason why badgers are rarely seen swimming or diving is they do not run from threats. These animals prefer to fight rather than turn their backs away from the source of threats.

Even if a river or stream is available as an escape route, these fierce animals would rather stay and face their oppressors.

Do Badgers Bathe?

Badgers do take a bath every now and then, but not because of cleanliness! The wilds can be harsh, humid, and very dry at times. The intense heat and the glaring sun can be too much even for the wildlife living in this kind of habitat.

The American badger is known to live in dry desert areas where water is scarce. So any opportunity to cool off from the heat is surely enjoyed by the badger. Check out the video below:

Author: Jomvie Reyes

Jomvie has been a writer for over 10 years and animals and wildlife are among his favorite topics. Learning and writing about the vast and diverse wildlife from all over the world, is more of a hobby than a job for him. Jomvie loves to watch and observe these remarkable species up close and personal.

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