Handicapped Badger, Point Reyes National Seashore

I was out at Point Reyes yesterday and it was kind of slow.  I saw a couple of coyotes, but wasn’t able to get a good photo of either of them.  I didn’t see any bobcats.  I did see a mature bald eagle, but it was flying  too far away for a good photo.  Things picked up in the mid-afternoon, however, when I spotted this badger.  It was actively hunting gophers.  The light was OK, but not great, because of strong side-lighting.  I opened up the shadow on its left side (right side for viewer) to bring out detail in its fur.

American Badger Digging Up Gophers in Point Reyes National Seashore

What you see is the full image.  However, as I was working on the photo in Photoshop I cropped it a bit to remove some of the little hillock in front of the badger.  Then I needed to remove some of the photo on the other three sides for a better composition.  As I was doing that I thought the animal’s right eye (left eye from viewer’s standpoint) looked odd.  So, I magnified the photo.  It then became clear that the badger had a serious eye problem.  I assume it’s completely blind in its right eye.

To make the eye visible at the relatively small image size required by my blog, I had to do a severe crop.

Badger at Point Reyes National Seashore

One-eyed Badger

I’m always touched by animals that have injuries or handicaps.  I hope this badger manages to live a normal life span.  I don’t know how its eye came to be the way it is.  It reminds me that I saw another badger at Point Reyes six years ago that looked completely blind in the same eye.  It was a female with two cubs.  Her eye was completely white, but not recessed looking like this eye.  I suppose it could be the same badger, but it could also be another.  I’ve started to wonder if eye problems are not that rare for badgers for some reason.


About Jim Coda

I am a nature photographer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I specialize in photos of birds, mammals, and landscapes.
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2 Responses to Handicapped Badger, Point Reyes National Seashore

  1. Vishal says:

    Where in Pt.Reyes did you find the badger?

    • Jim Coda says:

      It’s my policy not to give exact locations for predators. It was in the ranching area. They are fairly well spread out in the ranching area. Look for fresh diggings.

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