Badgers have become a rare sight in British Columbia, which is why it’s even more surprising that one tried to hop into a Kelowna man’s boat earlier this week.
Ron Lancour told CBC’s Daybreak Kamloops that he was alone in the middle of the Cariboo’s Sheridan Lake when he first spotted something swimming toward his boat.
It was “not something I recognized as an aquatic species,” he told CBC. As it got closer, the animal disappeared along the side of the boat, until Lancour suddenly heard what he describes as a “snarling” noise coming from the water.
As the badger climbed aboard, Lancour tried to poke him back into the water with the handle of his aluminum fishing net, but that didn’t stop the animal.
“I knew that I had to stun him somehow. I certainly didn’t want to hit him across the head and kill him,” said Lancour, who knew that badgers are a protected species in the province.
Although Lancour never expected something like this to happen on an otherwise peaceful day of fishing, badgers are known to be quite capable swimmers. In fact, they often cross bodies of water to follow prey or explore new land. But as one of the most endangered species in Canada, they can be as rare to spot on land as they are on water.
Lancour thought he finally managed to deter the badger by giving it a rap on the nose with the end of a paddle, shoving it back into the water. But just as the fisherman began to breathe a sigh of relief, the badger came around to the other side of the boat and tried to climb aboard once more.
“I was determined I wasn’t going to be the one that ended up in the water,” Lancour said.
This time, he shoved the badger off with his paddle and immediately went for the throttle. The animal, who was left behind in his wake, gave up and began swimming toward an island in the other direction.
“I’ve dealt with animals all my life,” Lancour said. “He just picked the wrong person to get in the boat with.”