Badger Vs Skunk: The Stripe and Spray Showdown

Badgers and skunks have a lot of similarities. That’s why people sometimes confuse while identifying these animals. But if we closely observe these animals, then we can also highlight many differences between them. Let’s compare the feature of both of these animals to actually highlight the differences and similarities between these animals.

Badger Vs Skunk: The Stripe and Spray Showdown
Badger Vs Skunk.

Key differences between the badger and skunk

Size16-35 inches12-17 inches
Weight24-30 lbs1.1-14 lbs
Colorblack, white, grey, brown, tanblack & white
SprayFoul-smelling stink bombspecial glands
DistributionNorth America, Europe, Asia,North and South America
TailShort but strongFluffy but long tail

Let’s discuss all the key differences between these animals to make our minds clear about badgers and skunks.

If we look at their general appearance, then it is clear that the badger is large in size than a skunk. The skunk can release special fluid from their glands for keeping the predator away from them. Badgers can also release this smell but for various purposes. It keeps the predators away from badgers as well as marks the territory. The smell of the badger is also not powerful and targeted as the smell of the skunk is.

Moreover, there is a huge population of the badger all over the world and they exist in almost 15 different kinds of species while the skunk is only found in North and South America and in some areas of Indonesia.

Let’s have a closer look at these animals by comparing their basic features one by one.

Size: badger vs skunk

The most distinguishable feature between these animals is their size. Badgers are much larger and heavier than a skunk. Mainly, we can identify this difference in the North American region because both of these animals are abundant in this region.

Indeed, American badger is smaller in size as compared to European and other badger but still, they are larger than a skunk. Skunks are smaller in size as well as in strength. Eastern hog-nosed skunk species are the largest species we can find on the earth. However, the smallest one is the pygmy spotted skunk which is very rare and only found in the Mexican region.

Weight: badger vs skunk

When it comes to weight badger is also heavier than a skunk. The weight of the badger is in the range of 20 to 30 lbs while the skunk weighs between 1 to 15 lbs.

Color: skunk vs badger

Badgers have a variety of species and all of these species also vary in terms of their color pattern. Mainly, they have black, brown, gray, and white colors.  European badgers are well known for their black body and white color strips on their face. American badgers have brown, black, and gray color body with special while coloring stripes on their face. Honey badgers also black and white color scheme but it is different than European and American badgers.

Skunks are also mostly found in black and white color but these colors are highly helpful for their protection against other predators. The color scheme of the skunk is almost the same as the color scheme of poisonous bugs and animals. The main difference is in the color of stripes and spots. Spotted skunks have obviously spotted patterns while the hog-nosed skunk has a striped pattern.

Badger vs skunk: spray

Badgers and skunks are the worst animals when it comes to leaving stink bombs from tails. Badgers, being mustelid family members, are very well known for glandular secretions for marking their territory. Badgers mainly utilize this secretion phenomenon for their defense against predators.

First of all, they release the stink for confusing or frightening the attacker. It drops very powerfully on the attacker but doesn’t last very long. Skunks don’t have very powerful stink but it lasts very long.

African honey badger releases a very extraordinary and powerful anal smell which they especially release for spreading bees from their larvae. After that, they attack the honey which is their favorite food.

On the other hand, skunks are the smallest known animal in the world and are famous for releasing stink. They can spray it up to 15 feet in the atmosphere. Normally, they spray this fluid five times a day or whenever they feel it is necessary for their safety.

If you observe the skunk is putting more weight on its hind legs and gradually raising its tail in the air, then it is better to stay away from them as these are the best signs for the release of stink. The stink of the skunk is the very last longing and it normally stays for weeks or months.

Badger vs Skunk: Distribution

Badgers belong to the mustelid family and members of these species are found all across the world. Many species of badgers live across various regions of the world. American badgers live in North America while European badgers live in the European continent. Honey badgers are normally found in the African continent.

Moreover, several other species live in places like Asia, Alaska, Mexico, etc. One of the very interesting species of the badger is the Sunda stink badger. They are especially known for spreading their bad odor up to 6-inches away.

Skunks have almost 12 species which are further divided into four different Genera. They normally exist in North and South America. There was a time when the skunk badgers were also included in the mustelids family but they have broken away and made their own family. Raccoons and red pandas are the closest relatives of skunks.

Tail: Skunk vs Badger

Tail distinguishes skunk from badger.
Tail distinguishes skunk from badger.

Tail is the most distinguishable way to differentiate between skunk and badger. Badgers have stocky but flat bodies and the tails of the badgers are short but strong. Honey badgers have bushy tails which also makes them different from other normal badgers. On the other hand, the skunk has a fluffy but long tail and utilizes it for warning its predators. If you see a skunk tail pop up in the air, then it is better to go away from the skunk as it is a warning sign.

Skunk vs stink Badgers

Skunk vs stink Badgers

There are many similarities between skunks and stink badgers. They have squat bodies, stubby but powerful legs, and bushy tails. Both have the same size almost equal to the size of domestic cats. They emit a spray with having very strong odor from their glands under the tail. The smell is mainly used as a weapon against predators as it causes a stinking sensation.

Both are nocturnal animals having very powerful and strong front claws for getting food and digging. They are also omnivores and cats eat a variety of foods. They are also solitary in nature and don’t like to intermingle with other animals. Skunks are found in North and South America while stink badgers exist in the Philippines and Indonesia. Source.

Frequently asked questions

In simple words, the skunk will be the ultimate winner if the fight happens between the skunk and the badger. It is because skunk has extraordinary agility, and counter-attacking capability while badgers are quite sluggish in attacking other animals. Although both have similar strengths and many other features, the badger will be the ultimate loser if they encounter each other.

Indeed, badgers can spray a musky scent from their glands but they can spray it as skunks can do. Skunks are phlegmatic animals and have the extraordinary capability in throwing spray at other animals.

Badgers have scent glands and can spray special odor but it is not very much unpleasant as skunk emits. There is also no match in terms of Pungent in their smells. This smell is the most potent weapon of a skunk while badgers have many other weapons like claws, jaws, etc.

They are not the same in terms of their appearance, agility, and likeness. However, honey badgers also belong to the same family of ferrets, otters, skunks, and other badgers.


Badgers and skunks are known for many qualities and features. They are similar in many aspects and also show some stark differences. We have tried our best to compare all the properties of both of these animals. Both of these animals slightly vary in terms of size, weight, strength, color, and spray. Badgers are abundant in number and found in all the corners of the world while skunks are only found in the American continent.

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