iN VIDEO: Kamloops woman spots badger in her garden - InfoNews

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iN VIDEO: Kamloops woman spots badger in her garden

A badger seen in a Kamloops garden.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/ Cherie Bitz
May 06, 2020 - 1:05 PM


A Kamloops woman was surprised when an unexpected visitor poked its head out of her garden.

Brocklehurst resident Cherie Bitz posted a video on Facebook of a badger that had dug a burrow amongst her plants.

This is a rare sight, as badgers are an endangered species in Canada.

Dr. Karl Larsen, professor of Natural Resource Sciences at TRU, estimates that there are only three to four hundred badgers in all of B.C.

"Unfortunately, more often than not, sightings are of roadkills, because that’s the number one threat to badgers," he said.

Badgers travel substantially, never staying in one place for too long. Males are especially mobile during the mating season in July and August, which unfortunately corresponds with an uptick in traffic. Because they're a smaller animal, drivers typically don't notice them on the road until it's too late.

While members of the weasel family have a reputation for being vicious, Larsen said that like all animals, badgers will seldom attack without being provoked. 

When a badger digs their burrow near a home, the course of action for Conservation Officers varies depending on several factors.

"Moving animals carries a lot of consequence with it," Larsen said. Authorities need to weigh the level of risk from the animal against the likelihood it will leave on its own.

"If one shows up in your backyard, there’s a pretty good chance it's just travelling through," he said.

Often when animals are moved, they will either come back or die trying. If the badger in Bitz's garden is a mother, this also needs to be taken into consideration, as she is likely to stay longer.

A screenshot from the badger video posted to Facebook by Cherie Bitz.
A screenshot from the badger video posted to Facebook by Cherie Bitz.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/ Cherie Bitz

While badgers do face a number of threats, there is hope for their species.

When faced with food scarcity in winter, badgers go into a semi-hibernation, entering a torpor state for weeks at a time to conserve energy. They are also fantastic diggers.

"They can dig surprisingly fast through pretty compact soil," Larsen said. He has seen badgers burrow into rock hillsides, even under slash piles.

Whether their population is stable is hard to say, but Larsen has seen promising signs in his research.

"In some places like the Cariboo, we think they’ve maybe been holding their numbers because we’ve managed to remove a lot of other sources of persecution," he said. "But the big issue is still those roads."

When you're driving, especially in the summer, keep an eye out for traveling badgers. If you happen to spot one alive, know that you've witnessed a rare sight in B.C. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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