We all know nature is, in a word, wild. Yet, there are still things about the wild world that shock us. Like, snakes racing lizards? Yeah, that’s ridiculous. That brutal penguin fight? So upsetting. But nature documentaries have to create narratives and provide context.
Which makes this research video, showing a badger straight up burying an entire cow carcass, all the more mesmerizing.
The University of Utah captured the footage in the winter of 2016, and thanks to the internet, it’s now all over the internet. There is no story; there is very little context. It’s just a video of a badger going to town digging away a cache of food, albeit a quite large one.
When I think of badgers, I’m thinking of industrious digging, but not quite like this. And while my initial thought upon watching the video was genuinely “…ew?”, carrion recycling is good news for the earth. Think of it as an extra natural form of composting. Just as your onion tops and potato peels enrich your local garden, these carcasses come back to the earth through burials. (Rather than, say, being festering grounds for disease out in the open.)
For even more upsetting/ridiculous animal interactions, check out this clip about Komodo dragons hunting buffalo. (Water buffalo, not bison.) Nature: Amazing, and also terrifying!