Utah University researchers saw a badger stealing and burring a dead cow three-times its size.
Badgers are some of Mother Nature’s most curious creatures, a fact recently demonstrated by a little experiment performed in Utah’s Grassy Mountains, in an area called the Great Basin. While conducting research on how predators behave during the winter, a team of researchers from the Utah University discovered how an American badger managed to steal and bury a cow carcass which was three times his size.
As baffling as it would might sound, while reviewing photos taken by cameras during winter in the Great Basin, a group of researchers from the Utah University discovered how a badger managed to steal, carry, and bury a cow carcass
Evan Buechley, the senior researcher, and a doctoral candidate declared that he and his team have stumbled upon this most curious discovery by accident. As he explained, the purpose of the project was to study how certain predatorial species endemic to the Great Basin behave during the winter.
For the purpose of this experiment, Buechley and his team purchased several bovine carcasses and hauled them all the way to the Great Basin area, in the Grassy Mountains. Each carcass was outfitted with a specially designed camera which was capable of taking photos each time a predator approached one of the cow carcasses.
Furthermore, the calves were firmly secured to the ground to ensure that no predator can steal them and, of course, damage the camera. As Buechley recalls, something during the winter, he and his team went to the location in order to check the cameras.
However, upon arriving, they’ve seen that one of the cow carcasses went missing. Initially, the team of researchers assumed that one of the larger predators managed to detach and steal the cow carcasses. But upon inspecting the ground around the stake closely, they found evidence of recent digging. It didn’t take them too long to find the camera attached to the cow carcass and to download the photos.
Upon reviewing the images, Buechley and his team discovered that the thief was actually an American badger. The photos reveal how the badger pulled down the dead cow from the stake, dug a hole, and buried the carcass inside, a thing most astounding considering that the cow corpse was three times bigger than the badger.
Buechley noted that the badger returned a couple of time within the next weeks to dig up the carcass and to eat. The photos retrieved from the other cameras showed another American badger exhibiting similar behavior.
Image source: FreeGreatPicture