A gentler look at this predator

By Brian M. Collins
Published: April 16, 2010
Photo by © Larry Jordan, dreamstime.com

As a middle-school kid wandering around the badger mounds of southeastern Minnesota, I figured it was only a matter of time before I would stumble upon and accidentally corner a badger, an animal I had heard was a smelly, fast and furious gopher-slaying machine.  

It was many years later that I would finally see a badger, a fleeting glimpse just outside of Yellowstone National Park sometime in my mid-20s. As much as I wanted to see it, that badger would have nothing to do with me. In seconds, it was gone.   

By the time I had finally achieved a truly good look at the American badger (Taxidea taxus) near my own home, I sat dumbfounded, watching two lumbering, playful klutzes. Playing some sort of leap-frogging game of tag, the two badgers frolicked and played until they were within a few yards of me. Made a little nervous by their approach, I grinned ear to ear and felt relieved as they disappeared into the tall grasses of a roadside ditch.
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