Solving Scavenger Mysteries with Animal Planet

04 June 2019

International Programs Director Evan Buechley, PhD, wasn't expecting to make history when he ventured into Utah's Great Basin Desert to study scavenger ecology. Evan placed a calf carcass in the desert to attract scavengers, but when he returned the carcass had seemingly vanished. After ruling out coyotes and Turkey Vultures, Evan reviewed camera footage to find that the culprit was the unlikely American Badger. In this first documented case, the Badger had slowly and meticulously buried the entire carcass beneath the ground over the course of several days.

Hear Evan retell this exciting discovery, and share more about Vultures and other scavengers, in "Solved: Nature's Greatest Mysteries." Watch Evan's story in Episode 8 on June 7 on Animal Planet, or online now at

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