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Rising K Ranch

Klay Klemic is a showcased Cedar City, UT horseback riding lessons instructor on!

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Saturday, October 26 2019
Zion and Bryce Canyon National Park Wildlife: The American Badger



Size: 18-23 inch body and a 4 ½ - 6 inch tail


Color: Black Facial Markings with a White Stripe Down the Face and up the top of the Head. The body is covered with gray, shaggy fur and he has large, intimidating claws.


   One of Utah’s larger mammals, the Badger often lives in areas with little moisture and few trees. Omnivorous, the Badger’s diet consists of earthworms, insects, eggs, small birds, small mammals, lizards, frogs, fruits and roots. With regards to his carnivorous habits, the Badger has a rather unique relationship with the coyote. While, for the most part, they simply ignore each other, there are both times when the badger will eat a coyote as well as times when the coyote will eat a badger. Some have even noted rare occasions when the coyote and the badger will work together to hunt their prey together here in the wild Utah ccountry! While the Badger is a truly ferocious animal, he does have his fair share of natural enemies including the aforementioned coyote, Golden Eagles, Bobcats, Black Bears, Grey Wolves (though not in Utah), and especially the Mountain Lion. While most predators will only attack a small Badger, the Mountain Lion will often take down a full-grown adult!

    The Badger’s range in widespread, covering not onlu Utah; but most of the Continental United States, Central Canada, and much of Mexico. Although he is present in both Zion as well as Bryce Canyon National Parks, as well as the Utah mountains and deserts that lie between Bryce Canyon and Zion, the Badger is still quite rarely seen. This is because the Badger is a nocturnal mammal and is almost never active during the day. When the Badger is seen, it is usually for only a few brief moments before he uses his enormous claws to speedily burrow into the ground and escape. His burrowing habits make him much more likely to be found in an area with soft soil or Utah clay that is easy for him to dig into. Utah has many places that are full of malpais or volcanic rock where it is incredibly difficult to dig and sometimes even difficult to walk. The Badger is not likely to be found in such a rocky place as this. The large tunnels created by Badgers as they chase their prey or escape detection are typically all that is seen. Here at Rising K Ranch, we have several badger tunnels within only a few hundred yards in any direction. In one area about a mile away there used to be an entire Utah prairie dog town and the Badgers (or at least their tunnels) would often be seen in that area.

   In somewhat the same manner as a skunk, the Badger is able to emit a powerful odor from special scent glands. He is a rather solitary creature, conversing with others of his kind only during mating season, which is in late summer. During the winter the Badger does not hibernate, but he does become significantly less active.

   As with most of Utah's wildlife, your best chances of seeing a Badger from horseback will be to ride out when the sun is only barely coming up and to ride quietly, keeping your eyes on the areas all around you rather than just focusing on the ground in front of you or on your horse's ears.


Posted by: Klay Klemic AT 11:29 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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    Rising K Ranch is a Horseback Trail Ride and Riding School in Utah, located perfectly between Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks.

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