Are we being badgered?


File:Badger-badger.jpg

When we moved into our current house, our landlady told us that among the wild critters running around, there were badgers in these here hills.

I wasn’t buying it.

Italy is not known for its wildlife, perhaps in large part for the fact that in the North, the quintessential wild animal, the cinghiale, is hunted down as fast as possible and dished into innumerable plates of tagliolini with cinghiale sauce.  And so the presence of badgers seemed highly unlikely.

But there’s one nagging problem: the holes.

On our acre-plus lot of stone walls and terraces, there are holes being dug all over the place, usually near some rooted plants.  At first I blamed the roving dogs that live here, there, and everywhere with no apparent masters.  But I have some experince with dogs, and they just don’t look like dog holes.

So I looked it up, and I’ll be damned if the common European badger (melis melis) doesn’t live all over Italy, and not in any danger of extinction either.  

The cat will have to keep a sharp lookout.