Wildlife of­fi­cial de­fends “dan­ger­ous” CU badger

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By El­iz­a­beth Her­nan­dez

The Univer­sity of Colorado Wed­nes­day asked visi­tors not to badger a “rare” and “ex­tremely dan­ger­ous” an­i­mal spot­ted roam­ing cam­pus grounds, but a state wildlife of­fi­cial says CU has the crit­ter’s rep­u­ta­tion all wrong.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife came to the badger’s de­fense this after­noon af­ter CU of­fi­cials sounded the alarm about the cam­pus’ four-legged vis­i­tor.

“It’s not rare, and it’s not a dan­ger­ous an­i­mal,” said Jen­nifer Churchill, spokes­woman for the state agency.

Churchill ex­plained that bad­gers aren’t un­likely in the area, with some known to con­gre­gate in Estes Park.

“They’re not a preda­tor,” Churchill said. “They won’t go af­ter a hu­man un­less they’re be­ing pro­voked or de­fend­ing their young.”

CU tweeted a photo of the an­i­mal Wed­nes­day, and warned passer­bys not to ap­proach it. The univer­sity found out about the crea­ture from an In­sta­gram photo.

CU said it typ­i­cally works with state wildlife of­fi­cers to lo­cate and “safely trap” wildlife that am­ble onto cam­pus so the an­i­mals can be re­lo­cated to their nat­u­ral habi­tats.

But Churchill said she sees no rea­son for her agency to in­ter­vene.

“The an­i­mal is just mov­ing through the area,” she said. “There’s no need for us to do any­thing.”

Photo cour­tesy of the Univer­sity of Colorado

CU of­fi­cials tweeted this photo of a badger on cam­pus Wed­nes­day morn­ing and asked peo­ple to stay away from the “ex­tremely dan­ger­ous” an­i­mal.

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