Probably it was kids at the beach burying other kids at the beach, but something made me start thinking again about this video I’ve never really stopped thinking about, where the badger completely buried the carcass of a 50-pound calf to save the meat for later, to the astonishment of scientists.
National Geographic wrote up the discovery:
Over the course of five days, the photos reveal, a single American badger excavated tunnels beneath the calf carcass until the whole thing collapsed into a pit. The badger then covered the carcass completely and constructed a burrow beside it, inside which it feasted on beef for 11 straight days.
Later investigation into the scientific literature revealed no one had ever recorded a badger entomb anything larger than a jackrabbit.
The video bounced around the internet for the minimum interest-cycle two years and then was gone. It left me wondering, though: if a lone badger could make a whole calf vanish, what else might badgers have buried through the years? What if sometimes they buried people? Why wouldn’t they have, now that we know they can?
A shallow grave in the desert is supposed to be canonical evidence of homicide. Now here’s evidence that a large body can vanish into a shallow grave without any human involvement. Are there unsolved murder cases out there with no murder in them at all? Are there people who believe their loved ones were killed when really their loved ones died of natural causes with a badger around? It’s not especially nice to picture your loved one being cached underground for a badger to snack on, but it would have to be better than the alternative.