Researchers from the University of Utah took seven calf carcasses out to the desert to see what would happen. They were going to record, count, and identify the vultures, coyotes, and other animals that tend to feed off dead animals. Evan Buechley, co-author of the study, returned to the area to find one of the carcasses gone. He admitted he was disappointed because dragging the calf out there was "a ton of work."
But examination of the pictures from the camera trap revealed an extraordinary turn of events. A badger completely buries the calf, with the animal setting to work almost immediately after its initial discovery of the carcass. Despite being a nocturnal creature, the images show it digging both during the day and at night.
From the time-lapse video created from the images, the badger can be seen digging around the calf until the dead bovine sinks into the dirt as the tunnels dug beneath it collapse.
The badger then covers its cache with soil, before taking what appears to be a well-earned rest atop the mound, looking directly at the camera. “I was really shocked and amazed, and really excited,” said Buechley.
my name is badge
and wen its nite,
i find som meat
and take a bite
i cannot eat
much more than half
i dig the dirt
and hide the calf
(Image credit: University of Utah)