Rare endangered badger finds new home near Osoyoos Desert Centre | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Rare endangered badger finds new home near Osoyoos Desert Centre

A badger at the Osoyoos Desert Centre about to duck out of sight.
Image Credit: Facebook /Osoyoos Desert Centre/ Kerry Hilgen
October 06, 2020 - 7:00 AM

It took some lucky sightings by some guests with an eye for detail to confirm a badger sighting at the Osoyoos Desert Centre recently.

Manager Leor Oren says there haven’t been any badgers at the desert centre for a very long time.

The animals are rare in British Columbia, with only 300 estimated in the province, and only 30 in the whole Okanagan valley.

“I haven’t seen the badger, but a guest spotted it on Sept. 11. I questioned them thoroughly and was convinced they had indeed seen a badger, and two days later came across a hole that could only have been dug by a badger,” Oren says.

He placed a camera near the hole, but ended up taking snapshots of other species.

On Oct. 1, the first guest to visit the centre walked the boardwalk and spotted the animal.

“He took photos and was good enough to share them with us,” Oren says.

Badgers are nocturnal animals that aren’t comfortable being around humans, Oren says.

“They’re rare, and their numbers are dwindling, largely due to road mortality these days,” he says.

Standing less than 60 centimetres in height, they’re out at night and like to move around, crossing highways and they're not easily visible to drivers.

Oren says their numbers are dropping due to loss of habitat as well.

“They don’t like people and we are encroaching on their habitats, and farmers used to see them as pests and shoot them. They thought badgers dug holes the cattle could stumble into, but it turned out it wasn’t badgers who were digging the holes, it was gophers, which badgers eat,” Oren says.

Badgers are a protected species in B.C. and considered red listed.

“We haven’t provided them enough protection. The new South Okanagan park reserve was supposed to address that, but other than that, there isn’t much we can do to protect them right now,” Oren says.

A guest at Osoyoos Desert Centre recently took this photo of a rare badger taking up residence on the grounds.
A guest at Osoyoos Desert Centre recently took this photo of a rare badger taking up residence on the grounds.
Image Credit: Facebook /Osoyoos Desert Centre/ Kerry Hilgen

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