The Black Sheep paired with National Geographic to give you this astonishing first-hand glimpse into the life of a Badger, right at the beginning of spring. We had to keep our distance, as to not upset the Badger’s routine, but our observations were riveting:
As the ground begins to thaw, we see the young Badger is feeling insecure and unprepared for the upcoming season. The cold has not been good to the Badger; its comatose winter state has added unwanted mass to its body. This becomes apparent after it sheds its winter coat; a molting process in which the Badger will trade its heavy coat, protective head gear, and paw warmers for a more stylish sweatshirt or windbreaker. It wears bright red in hopes of attracting a mate for the upcoming season.
We can see the Badger in the early morning and late evening scampering though the streets of Madison, as well as attending the SERF more regularly as it physically prepares for pond season at the end of spring. Unfortunately for the Badger, this also means the return of shaving and bathing more than once a week.
Spring is also mating season for the Badger’s neighbors: Gophers and Buckeyes. Yes, buckeyes are indeed animals… maybe… actually one is a nut, right? Who even cares… they are considered a disgusting and filthy breed at the bottom of the food-chain. Regardless, Gophers and Buckeyes are known for their cocky, obnoxious, and over-the-top peacocking displays that only attract the sleaziest of mates to them. No Badger has ever been recorded as sinking to the level of a Gopher or Buckeye.
Once the Badger is completely groomed, we can follow it to its natural weekend habitat: the watering hole. The Badger is naturally a nocturnal creature, spending more nights out than any of its closest relatives. The Badger notices its old stomping grounds are particularly full this evening due to the warm night air. The Badger sheds off more layers in attempt to attract a mate early. After a couple failures, the Badger tracks down some liquid courage.
Alas, being forced to drink only in between periods of hibernation, the Badger has lost its tolerance for strong bar drinks. Having survived solely on a stockpile of Rolling Rocks for the past 4 months, the young Badger becomes overwhelmed at the Kollege Klub and scurries out to the sideway where it regurgitates its stomach contents before passing out.
The next morning, the Badger will have to rise from its queasy drunken slumber before dawn when its ecosystem is invaded by foreign critters. Old bears, young families of deer with their fawns, and annoying pre-teen ferrets in town to watch high school basketball and wrestling will be roaming State Street and raiding the Badger’s food supply at the local Farmers Market. Even though Madison may be a town for Badgers, soon enough all sorts of wildlife find their way back to support the Badgers as they compete against the Gophers, Buckeyes, and other out-of-state creatures.
The Badger has yet to find a mate as it stumbles home, but it is determined to return to its old stomping grounds again later that night in hopes of procuring one—and also to make up for its embarrassing performance the previous night. It is still early spring and the Badger is hopeful. However, we sent our Nat Geo team back the next morning, only to find more copious amounts of vomit covering nearby sidewalks.
It looks like the young Badger will still need a little more time to prepare for the warm season.