01 April 2017

Have you lost a cow?

Better look in your local badger sett.
Camera traps documented 2 solitary American badgers (Taxidea taxus) independently caching juvenile domestic cow (Bos taurus) carcasses during late winter 2016 in the Great Basin Desert of Utah. One carcass was partially buried and the other was entirely buried. Both badgers constructed dens alongside their cache, where they slept, fed, and spent up to 11 days continuously underground. They abandoned the sites 41 and 52 days after initial discovery. While badgers are known to scavenge and to cache small food items underground, this is the first evidence of an American badger caching an animal carcass larger than itself.
Video (time-compressed gif) here.  And more about setts.

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