I've just seen a new boar at the badger sett I visit. He seems to have taken over the clan. I saw him for the first time last week as I was sitting quietly watching another badger that I call Humbug. I have habituated Humbug to my presence and she'll even take biscuits from my hand.
This boar is not nearly as impressive looking as last year's boar. I've dug out my photographs of the boars from previous years to show you.
This (below) was one of the male cubs from 2009, who I nicknamed 'Dyson'. This was one of the last times I saw him when he was a nine month old boar looking fit and well ready for winter.
Of course it also affects the studies I make for my paintings! Last year I knew each individual and had sketches and photographs of them all and now of course I will have to start the lengthy process all over again.
Badgers can mate all year round and implantation is delayed so that cubs are usually born in February and don’t come out until spring. Although with this new takeover I wonder if the mating has occured now because the new boar has killed the cubs underground. I will be keeping an anxious watch over the next few weeks to see if any cubs appear. I really hope they are okay.
Thankfully Humbug is still at the sett, although even she is cautious. I’ve become so fond of her I would be very sad if she gets ousted too.