The suitabilities of two subcutaneous and two intraabdominal surgical approaches were evaluated for implantation of telemetry transmitters in the European badger (Meles meles). Two transmitters, one for heart rate and the other for body temperature, were needed in each badger. Five wild badgers were trapped, housed in an outdoor pen, anesthetized, and surgically implanted with one or two transmitters per procedure. A total of 16 transmitters were implanted, 10 subcutaneously and six intraabdominally, and each badger had up to three procedures performed. Six subcutaneous transmitters were placed over the chest wall and four on the dorsal aspect of the neck. Three intraabdominal transmitters were placed free in the abdomen and three were fixed to the abdominal wall. Eight of the subcutaneous transmitters were later damaged or dislodged, probably by mechanical friction, injuries from fighting, or wound licking. The intraabdominal implantation procedures were easier and faster to perform compared with subcutaneous procedures. Two of the free intraabdominal transmitters became thinly encapsulated, with some omental adhesions. The fixed intraabdominal approach for transmitter implantation is preferable in badgers.
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Vol. 31 • No. 1