Fun Ferret-badger Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Apr 28, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary
Interesting ferret-badger facts to learn more about this species.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.5 Min

When we initially come across the term ferret badger, we assume that this species is related to ferrets and badgers, which is correct. This genus Melogale of subfamily Helictidinae comprises five other subspecies of ferret badger which may appear as a hybrid of ferrets and badgers.

Lately, these species have managed to seize global attention because of coronavirus as it is signified that many animals including the ferret-badger could be intermediate carriers of this virus.

The subspecies are divided based on the regions in which they dwell which mostly covers the territories of Asia.

Out of the five subspecies, the most widespread is the Melogale moschata also known as the Chinese ferret badger. The family Mustelidae also includes weasels, otters, martens, wolverines, and minks other than badgers and ferrets all of them retain distinguish characteristics that differentiate them from each other.

To know more about this unique species of ferret-badger keep reading this article. If you enjoy this article, check out these fascinating muskrat facts and badger facts.

Ferret-Badger Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a ferret-badger?

The ferret-badger is a species of the subfamily Helictidinae, which looks like a combination of ferret and badger.

What class of animal does a ferret-badger belong to?

The ferret-badger belongs to the class of mammals.

How many ferret badgers are there in the world?

The ferret-badger species is widely distributed, and the population depends on the type of subspecies. The Chinese ferret badger (Melogale moschata) is found abundantly in its region, but the population of the Bornean ferret-badger is considered a threatened species.

Where does a ferret-badger live?

These mammals are found in Asia, particularly in China, India, Thailand, Taiwan, and the islands of Java, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

What is a ferret-badger's habitat?

The ferret-badger inhabits the regions of forests, grass fields, and firewood stacks.

Who do ferret badgers live with?

The ferret-badger is a solitary animal except during the mating season.

How long does a ferret-badger live?

The average lifespan of these mammals is 10 years when in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

The process of reproduction is copulation. After copulation, these species give birth to 2-3 kits, which are born before the rainy season in burrows. The mother feeds the infants for 2-3 weeks.

What is their conservation status?

There are five subspecies in the genus Melogale and the subfamily Helictidinae. Out of the five subspecies, the conservation status of the Chinese ferret-badger, Javan, and Burmese ferret-badger is of least concern, while the status of the Borean ferret-badger is endangered and the Vietnam ferret-badger is currently not listed.

Ferret-Badger Fun Facts

What do ferret badgers look like?

The genus Melogale of the Mustelidae family is branched into five more subspecies that differ from each other.

The most widespread type is the Chinese ferret badger (M.moschata), the color on the upper side can range from dark chocolate to light brown to grayish brown and the ventral side is either white or orange.

The Burmese ferret (M.personata) displays few similarities with the typical badger like the short and wide paws with large claws which enables them in digging.

The dorsal color of the Borean ferret-badger (M.everetti) can vary from greyish brown to black and the ventral color is either white or yellow.

The unique feature about their dorsal stripe is that, unlike other ferret badgers, the white or red stripes on the back of the Borean ferret-badger are extended from the head to its shoulder.

The brown fur of the Javan ferret badger is shiny with a hue of red that may appear tawny or greyish sometimes, there are white markings all over the face, chest, neck, and throat.

There is not much data available regarding the Vietnam ferret-badger (M.cucphuongensis), however, one prominent characteristic is present in all the subspecies and that is their semi-webbed toes and the ridges under their feet, which have developed due to their tendency to climb.


How cute are they?

These animals are cute, although they can spread diseases.

How do they communicate?

Ferret badgers are primarily solitary and nocturnal mammals, it is only during the breeding season that they communicate with each other but the exact process of communication is not documented.

How big is a ferret-badger?

The ferret badger size can range from 13-17 in (33-43 cm), out of the five subspecies the Chinese ferret badger (Melogale moschata) is the smallest. It is bigger than the palm civet cat which is 21 in (53 cm).

How fast can a ferret-badger run?

The speed of a badger is approximately 15-18 mph (25–30 kph) and a ferret is 14.9 mph (24 kph), but the exact speed of a ferret badger is not listed.

How much does a ferret-badger weigh?

The weight of a ferret badger is approximately 2.2-6.6 lb (1-3 kg), the smallest of them is the Chinese ferret badger.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male ferret badger is known as boar while the female ferret badger is called sow.

What would you call a baby ferret-badger?

The baby of a ferret badger is called a kit.

What do they eat?

The diet of these animals consists of insects, small animals, fruits, and worms.

Are they poisonous?

No such data has been recorded,  but it is unlikely. Although, they do spread diseases.

Would they make a good pet?

Ferrets have been domesticated for centuries but badgers are wild mammals that cannot be domesticated. The ferret badger is also found in the wild and it is better to leave them in their habitat.

Did you know...

The Chinese ferret badger (Melogale moschata) has another name which is a small-toothed ferret badger.

This small-toothed ferret badger is regarded as a delicacy and is sold in the Chinese market.

Different types of ferret-badger

There are five different subspecies of the ferret-badger which can be found in different regions of Asia. The most prevalent of these subspecies is the Chinese ferret-badger, whose geographic range comprises the territories of India, central China, and Taiwan.

In India, it can be found in Assam and the Indo-China regions. Chinese ferret badgers commonly inhabit the grassland and the tropical and sub-tropical woodlands.

This species of ferret-badger is the smallest and has a body length of 13-17 in (33-43 cm) the dorsal color may vary from dark chocolate to brown, fawn, and grey and the ventral color is generally white or orange.

The face of Chinese ferret badgers is unique because of the white forehead outlining their black face. Like every other ferret badger, the Chinese ferret badger also has a stripe down the center of its dorsal area and strong claws which aids them in digging.

Burmese ferret-badger facts are interesting as well, as this species has a geographic range that includes the Northeastern region of India, Myanmar, Nepal, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Island of Java.

The habitats these Burmese ferret-badger species prefer are woodlands or grasslands. These are slightly bigger than the Chinese ferret badgers and have a length of 14–16 in (35–40 cm) also the stripes on the face of Burmese ferret badgers are thinner than that on the face of Chinese ferret badgers.

The stripes on the back of the Burmese ferret badger are extended to the base of its tail while in the Chinese ferret badger, the stripes are not extended to the base of its tail.

The Bornean ferret-badger is slightly longer or of the same length as the Chinese ferret-badger, and is differentiated from the rest because of the markings on its face which are either yellow or white and the stripes can be red or white.

The length of the Javan ferret-badger is Melogale orientalis 14-16 in (35-40 cm), the head is narrow compared to the Chinese ferret-badgers, the species of ferret-badger that is recognized for its big eyes, long whiskers, and silky brown fur which covers its body.

The Vietnam ferret-badger has a dark brown body and head, with black and white dorsal stripes.

Comparisons with similar animals

The ferret-badger belongs to the same family of Mustelidae as the weasels, badgers, ferrets, and wolverines belong to. The ferret-badger does share similarities with the common badgers like the wide paws with strong claws and resembles ferrets as well, upon looking at them it can be comprehended that the ferret badger is a cross between ferret and badger.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these water vole facts and stoat facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our ferret badger coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Smriti Chaudhary

Bachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

Smriti Chaudhary picture

Smriti ChaudharyBachelor of Technology specializing in Information Technology

Smriti, a student data scientist, and coder, is pursuing her Bachelor of Technology at K.J. Somaiya College of Engineering. She has achieved top rankings in the International English Olympiad, National Spelling Bee, and PSAT/SAT English Section. She is experienced in content creation and editing for various academic institutions.

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