Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Badger (Not Groundhog) Signals Spring's Coming

Today’s Groundhog Day, and although we don’t have a groundhog here, Bonnie the badger is acting as if spring is coming soon. She has been sunning herself and coming out of winter torpor, a less active physiological state.
“She’s much more alert and active these days, and not curled up in a ball sleeping,” says Kelli Neumann, program mammals specialist. “When it’s sunny, she doesn’t want to play, she just wants to lay in the sun. She rolls on her back and begs to get her belly scratched.”
Otherwise, she’d prefer to like to play with Kelli and her favorite toy, a hand broom. “She carries it around with the bristles in her teeth,” Kelli says.
Bonnie and her brother, Clyde, take it easy in winter. They put on a few pounds and stay behind the scenes in their habitats. In summer, they meet Museum visitors close up and show off their powerful claws and how fast they can dig.
In the meantime, our sun-drenched, winding trails are perfect for meeting High Desert raptors, fox, porcupine and otter close up!
Photo credit: Jennifer Loring

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