Overeating makes one sleepy, lazy and fat. Only a month ago such an image was not to be thought of: the badger flops down to sleep in front of the burrow. But a badger preparing for winter tends to be tired after one more major bellyful.
Posted by the Animal of the Year team, 15.10.2016
Video recorded by Tiit Hunt, rmk.ee
The badger is no gourmet. Up to 70+ % of the body mass of the creature aptly named opportunistic omnivore is made up of pure fat according to the most optimistic estimates, and a very picky creature cannot achieve that.
When winter arrives a badger weighing 10-15 kilos in summer may have increased its weight by 15-20 kilos. Large old males can weigh even more than 30 kilos before the winter hibernation. The fat is mainly deposited in the subcutaneous tissues, to a minor extent also in the muscles and liver and around internal organs.
Pharmacologically, polyunsaturated fatty acids found in the liver of the badger are interesting.
The fat of a well fed animal has been a popular natural remedy throughout ages in various corners of the world. A huge number of useful properties and even miraculous healing effects have been attributed to badger fat. The assumptions are not altogether groundless since it has been established that the fat contains corticosteroids which are widely used for instance in asthma treatments.
Tiit Hunt, rmk.ee