We're all about the badgers here in Wisconsin. The "badger" nickname came to the state because of miners who came to Southwestern Wisconsin to dig lead -- "badgers" being a term for these folks who dug for a living, and many of whom lived in dugout homes. A good fraction of these early miners came from Cornwall.
I'm not from Wisconsin originally, but I was nonetheless interested in this story from BBC News about the fondness of Brits for their badgers:
"No animal enjoys better protection than the badger, though few need it less. Uniquely, it has its own Act of Parliament to defend its wellbeing, yet - unlike hundreds of much more poorly safeguarded species - it is not at all endangered," wrote environmental journalist Geoffrey Lean in the Daily Telegraph earlier this year.
And this despite the evidence that badgers are responsible for infecting cattle with bovine TB.
I've never seen a badger here outside the zoo; they are not common in southern Wisconsin. I'm told that there are badgers in Kansas, but I've certainly never seen one. So I admire them mainly in costumed form -- especially doing push-ups after a touchdown.
This is one of the factoids from the article's sidebar:
Still occupy setts known since Domesday Book
I find that amazing - the "sett" is the word for the badger's burrow, which approaches the degree of elaboration of a prairie dog burrow. To think of an underground animal burrow that has been occupied continuously for a thousand years, that's just really cool. It's not unprecedented, even among mammals, as prairie dog towns, buffalo wallows and other animal constructions can survive for comparable amounts of time.
The article mentions a few badgers from children's literature -- Beatrix Potter and The Wind in the Willows being very prominent. My kids mostly care about Bucky, of course, but he's not literary. "Digger the Badger" from the Thornton Burgess books is the one we've hit from actual books. I highly recommend those books, by the way. They're truly American, sort of like Mark Twain for 6-year-olds, complete with dialect. Not like those simpering British animal stories.