Lovable Badgers?

I’ve always thought of badgers as crabby, ill-tempered little creatures willing to consume anything in sight, including snakes. They are pugnacious little beasts, I assumed after observing a few of them in the wild. They have their place in nature, of course, but are devoid of personality, I believed, and would never display a playful …

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Elk Skull Surprise

Stumbling upon elk carcasses in the Tetons is not difficult, as hunters harvest the meat of their kills and leave behind bones. Harsh winters take a few lives, as well, leaving carrion for scavengers and bones for rodents to gnaw. Hunters remove skulls with antlers for display, while shed antlers are collected in Spring to …

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Collaring Bighorn Sheep

“You can come and help out, but I hope you don’t get bored. There might be a lot of down time.” After inviting us to a bighorn sheep capture and collaring, Desert National Wildlife Refuge biologist Lindsay Smythe warned us in advance that we could be disappointed. “Sometimes the sheep don’t come down,” she said. …

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Sonoran Pronghorn Release

The rugged 660,000 acres of Kofa National Wildlife Refuge is perfect habitat for reptiles.  But it’s also home to mountain lions, bighorn sheep, mule deer, and now (as of December) Sonoran pronghorn. Sonoran pronghorn (sometimes called antelope) are an endangered subspecies that inhabit the Sonoran Desert in southwest U.S. and into Mexico.  A captive breeding …

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Begging Wildlife

A raccoon tiptoeing near our campfire the other night surprised and delighted all of the volunteers gathered for a hot dog roast at Imperial National Wildlife Refuge.  For years we’ve seen raccoon tracks, and occasionally we catch a glimpse of one.  But, unlike other raccoons on the Refuge, this animal lingered, obviously not shy around people.

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