Amazing video from U of U shows badgers can bury large animals to eat later

Posted at 6:18 PM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 20:18:52-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- A badger can bury a cow.

University of Utah researchers just discovered the fact with video evidence that is taking the Internet by storm.

"I didn't really set out to study badgers at all," said Evan Buechley, a Ph.D. candidate in conservation biology at the University of Utah.

Buechley wanted to see what all kinds of scavengers would do when he left calf carcasses in Utah's West Desert, with a motion detecting camera pointed their way.

Instead, with two of the carcasses, Buechley saw individual badgers lay exclusive claim by burying them.

Ethan Frehner, an undergraduate working with Buechley, authored a paper about the badgers' behavior.

"They dug out tunnels underneath the carcasses, which eventually collapsed downward, and the carcasses fell into these holes, which the badgers subsequently began to cover," Frehner said.

Before this discovery, there was no evidence badgers buried anything larger than a rabbit. Buechley says that just shows how many natural phenomenon still wait to be discovered.

"If we can go out an hours' drive from Salt Lake City and find a really charismatic behavior that nobody's documented before, it really shows actually how little we know about the natural world," Buechley said.