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Rarely Seen Predator Spotted At Texas Beach

Rarely seen predator spotted tearing up Texas beach, photos show. ‘Look at it dig!’ BY MITCHELL WILLETTS AUGUST 17, 2023 3:56 PM Tom Howe, a Padre Island resident, was surprised to see the elusive animal on a beach, especially during daytime. Tom Howe. A Texas man recently spotted one of the state’s most elusive creatures scampering around on a beach, soaking wet and covered in sand, photos show. Tom Howe, a 67-year-old Padre Island resident, was looking for a spot to go fishing when his car battery died near the beach, he told McClatchy News. But thanks to that unlucky break, he spotted something furry and four-legged moving in the surf. “All of the sudden I see something on the beach,” Howe said. “At first I thought it was a young coyote pup … but I got closer and thought it must be a raccoon.” “Wait, that’s a badger,” he said. “Look at it dig!” Padre Island resident Tom Howe spotted the animal while searching for a fishing spot. Tom Howe. Howe grabbed a camera from his vehicle and started snapping photos, capturing the badger as it ran into the waves and dug holes in the sand. Periodically, the animal paused its frantic activity, sniffed at the air, then plunged its sharp claws into the sand again, rooting out crabs and whatever other morsels might be hidden. “Very few people have seen a badger out here. My neighbor two doors down, he practically lives on the beach … he’s only seen one,” he said. Howe shared photos of the “once in a lifetime” sighting on his Facebook page and in a private wildlife group. “OMG, I had no idea badgers lived that far south. This is amazing!” one commenter wrote in the private group post. “Who would expect to see a badger at the beach!!” wrote another. The badger seemed to be hunting for crabs and other small prey. Tom Howe. Some were even worried for the badger’s health. “I hope you saw him make a catch and eat it,” a comment read. “He looks sad and scrawny.” Howe thinks the badger is healthy, but being drenched in seawater is not the most flattering look. Get unlimited digital access Try 1 month for $1 CLAIM OFFER While badgers live throughout much of the state, they are most prevalent in West Texas and “seem to prefer large tracts of open, uncultivated ground,” according to the state Parks and Wildlife Department. They’re tough animals with few predators. Similar in size to a medium-size dog, badgers are powerfully built, with a “reputation for ferociousness when attacked,” McClatchy News reported. Howe was roughly 50 yards away from the badger, and he had no interest in getting closer, he said. “They avoid people with a passion and they’re mean,” he said. “They’re kind of aggressive like a wolverine.” It’s uncommon to see a badger out in nature, even more so to spot one on the beach, and during daytime, Howe said. “This was unusual behavior because it was about 11 o’clock in the morning,” he said. Badgers are typically nocturnal animals, according to the National Park Service. However, “in remote places … they can occasionally be observed during the day,” NPS said. The stretch of beach the badger was on could fit that bill, according to Howe. Few people were around, and the area is fairly rugged.


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