An eagle-eyed reader caught this photo of the badger in the City Market parking lot. [Photo: Joanne Savoie]

Moab Sun News reader Joanne Savoie made an unusual sighting on the morning of August 4: a badger prowling the City Market parking lot.

“Every now and then we do see them in Moab,” said Bradon Palmer, public information officer for the Moab City Police Department. He said they’re reported one or two times a year—the last report was almost exactly one year ago, when a badger was seen in the residential area around Mivida Drive.

According to Wild Aware Utah (a partnership between the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Utah State University Extension, and the Salt Lake City-based Hogle Zoo), high concentrations of rodents, such as ground squirrels, can attract badgers to unlikely habitats in urban areas. Badgers are solitary animals that prey primarily on burrowing rodents, using their strong, clawed front feet to dig them out of the ground. They may also eat insects, birds, eggs, reptiles, and some vegetation.

“Badgers are usually nocturnal, but can sometimes be seen at dawn and dusk,” according to Wild Aware. “They can put on aggressive displays when cornered, but are unlikely to attack unless highly provoked. They may hiss, growl, or snarl.”

Palmer said that the local Animal Control department refers wildlife cases to the DWR.

No one from the DWR responded to a Moab Sun News request for comment before press time, but Palmer said it was likely they left the badger alone.

“There’s not a belief that the animal poses any kind of danger to the public,” he said. “If you leave them alone and don’t aggravate them, they pretty much steer clear of people.”

“I’ve never seen a badger in town,” commented Savoie, who speculated that the animal might have been displaced by the recent Pack Creek flooding.