Night vision camera footage reveals badger, fox and hedgehog in fierce standoff over food

  • Pictures from Nottingham Trent University

Night vision footage reveals a badger, hedgehog and fox fighting engaged in a vicious fight over scraps put out in the garden.

Experts at Nottingham Trent University and the University of Brighton analysed hundreds of videos - recorded by the public - to investigate interactions between different species and to find out which came out on top.

They found that food left in gardens can provide benefits for wild animals, but can also draw competitors and predators close together.

In the footage the animals display aggressive behaviours, including lunging, biting, and striking out.

A fox pounces on a badger Credit: Nottingham Trent University

Researchers found badgers tended to dominate other species in the garden hierarchy, while hedgehogs had more clashes than expected.

In a natural world spin on 'Rock, Paper, Scissors', hedgehogs tended to win over cats, while cats won over foxes.

From 316 instances where animals were spotted together, 175 ended in confrontation.

Hedgehogs were the most fierce against members of their own species - in one instance a hedgehog was pushed down a flight of concrete steps, and another time into water - to get their rival away from food.

Hedgehogs were found to be the most fierce against members of their own species

Within species, badgers were the least competitive with one another, with just 7% of encounters resulting in a stand-off.

Professor Dawn Scott, lead researcher said: "Our study is the first to quantify interactions between urban mammal communities in this way and to identify hierarchical relationships between wild and domestic mammals in urban gardens.

"We need to better understand interactions between urban animals and the potential effects of providing food in this way, to ensure any potential risks are minimised."