Activity : Badgers are primarily nocturnal (with some crepuscular tendencies) because their prey (earthworms throughout most of their range) only comes to the surface at night to breed. Generally, here in the UK, badgers emerge from their setts before dusk between May and August and after dark for the rest of the year; they are also less active from November to February – they tend to remain at the sett for about an hour before moving away to forage. Although badgers do not hibernate (see Q/A ), in some parts of their range they may enter states of torpor during very cold or snowy periods – during torpor, the badgers will remain in the sett (often for several weeks) and metabolise fat reserves accumulated during the summer and autumn. There is usually a marked decrease in a badger's body temperature during the winter and early spring, with the body temperature between 2 deg-C and 9 deg-C ( – deg-F) lower from November to April than during the late spring. This decrease in body temperature allows for greater economy of fat reserves at a time when food is typically scarce or buried under snow. Indeed, this probably explains why studies have found that breeding sows may have three times the drop in body temperature of non-breeding individuals. In the American badger ( Taxidea taxus ), the same 9oC slump in body temperature is accompanied by a pronounced decrease (sometimes of more than 50%) in heart rate. During periods of exceptionally cold weather, badgers will often use a latrine inside the sett, rather than venturing outside. While activity is sporadic and unpredictable through the winter months, badgers may be seen out foraging during the winter, even in the snow! Post-winter emergence is generally late-February or early March and by mid-summer, badgers often spend time away from the sett during the day, even sleeping out in deep bedding piles. In more remote locations, cubs may be seen playing outside during daylight.
[ Editor's Note: Chryste Gaines, MBA, Olympic gold and bronze medal sprinter and former teammate of Marion Jones in the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, stated the following in a Dec. 22, 2008 email to in response to the IOC ruling:
"We are being unfairly punished. If the drug testing agencies cannot determine if an athlete is taking performance enhancing drugs how are the teammates supposed to know?... It negates all the family functions, church functions, and social events we missed in the name of winning an Olympic medal." ]