A resident of Kelowna's Upper Mission has an unusual nature experience as she was driving home from work Monday evening.
“I saw something running on the side of the road, at first, I thought it was a cat. But then when I looked closer, I saw this animal. I couldn't recognize what it was though? Is it a badger? Or is it a Wolverine? What is it?”
Katie Brown says she has lived on Stellar Road for years and has seen all kinds of different wildlife, but never a badger.
“So I took some pictures and sent them to my boyfriend and he said, that's a badger. I Googled it this morning and found out that it was really rare. And that's when I decided to send it to you,” Brown told Castanet.
Badgers are extremely rare in B.C., according to Parks Canada, in 2016 there were only about 200 of them left in the province. They are also an endangered species in British Columbia.
The one spotted in Upper Mission looks very much like an American badger and Brown says, “it's the first time I've seen him. But my neighbour said they saw it, too, and also wondered what it was.”
Badgers aren't dangerous for humans and generally keep to themselves and do most of their hunting at night, but can be seen out and about in the daytime as well. They are excellent hunters of earth-dwelling prey including gophers, rabbits, groundhogs, ground squirrels, mice, and snakes.
Brown says she hopes the badger stays out of harm's way, “go slow because you never know what predators are on the road or wildlife. We have a lot of wildlife up here and people are around them all the time.”
Badgers have a reputation for being angry animals, they don’t like being harassed and will defend themselves using sharp claws if not given a wide berth by other animals like dogs and cats.