Official State Mammal of Wisconsin
Wisconsin's nickname is "The Badger State" because miners dug tunnels into hillsides searching for lead in the 1800's and often lived in abandoned mine shafts, reminding people of badgers. The nickname also described the hardworking, energetic settlers of the Wisconsin Territory. A badger appears on Wisconsin's state flag, state seal, and is even mentioned in the state song; "On, Wisconsin! Grand old badger state!"
Found throughout Wisconsin, badgers are short, stocky, solitary animals with incredibly long thick claws. Badgers stay hidden inside their shallow dens during the day, hunting mostly at night for small animals found in grasslands like pocket gophers, ground squirrels, rabbits, and small birds.
The badger is a ferocious fighter with an attitude and should not be bothered. Badgers will snarl, growl, and can give off a musky and scent like a skunk if disturbed. Badgers spend 90 percent of their time in their den (or "sett") during Wisconsin winters.