BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Three students from the University of Utah were able to observe a peculiar behavior displayed by a badger. With the help of a trap camera, they were studying the scavenging behavior of several animals, when they succeeded to take some photos of the badger burying a much larger animal than itself – a cow.
Little predator burying huge prey
Badgers are well-known for the fact that they bury their food. This process is also called “caching”. However, this is the first time when someone observes one of their kind burying such a big animal. Then, some other animals managed to drag the prey away a little, so the industrious little badger decided to secure it.
After covering the carcass with soil, the badger built the secure mechanism under the form of a burrow. It dug around the prey, so as to create a gutter where it can stay hidden. Then, the cameras recorded the little predator feasting on the animal for 11 days.
These findings suggest that badgers might end up caching animals many times their size. The students turned the series of photos they captured into a short film which had already gone viral everywhere on social media.
The group of students was really excited about the discovery they made. Initially, they wanted to document the scavenging behavior of different animals present in the area. Based on their findings, they could have established the role these scavengers play in the process of decomposition. The beauty of their research lies in the fact that they discovered a never-before-seen behavior in badgers.
Why did the badger engage in such a behavior?
The answer could be actually very simple. Badgers cache their prey to prevent other animals from stealing their food. Also, this might keep them away from invading their habitat and killing other animals which could serve as food source for the badgers.
All this entertaining show was recorded in the Great Basin Desert. One week later, when the students, together with some researchers from the University of Utah, returned, they found that the carcass was gone. The little badger must have had the feast of its lifetime.
The badger populations are quite threatened, as they have reached worryingly low numbers. However, their numbers are still high in the United States. This happens in spite of the fact that they disappeared from certain areas and their numbers are still decreasing.
Image Source: Max Pixel