Mountain biker recounts aggressive badger standoff in Draper

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DRAPER — A mountain biker is recounting a tense standoff with a family of badgers that got so aggressive they nearly forced him off the trail.

Brandon Farzad heads up to Corner Canyon a few days a week to hit the trail, his favorite being Ann's Trail.

Last weekend he was stopped in his tracks by a clan of creatures scurrying on the trail. He wasn't sure, at first, what they were.

"I just saw a bunch of animals together. It looked like a mother and three babies," Farzad said.

He began to film and realized that the furry little family was not fun.

"Once I realized they were badgers, all these memories of, like, honey badgers versus mountain lions ... popped into my head," Farzad said. "I was like, oh, jeez, OK. These are dangerous; let's not approach them."

Three baby badgers stand their ground on a trail in Corner Canyon.
Three baby badgers stand their ground on a trail in Corner Canyon. (Photo: Brandon Farzad)

Even though Farzad stayed away and didn't move closer, in his video it's clear the badgers meant business.

"I'm just, you know, keeping my distance, and then they all start hissing at me aggressively," he said. "I'm like, 'OK, it's all right, guys. Everything's cool.'"

The mom had already darted into the woods and Farzad lost sight of her. But the babies weren't messing around as they snarled and advanced toward Farzad, quickly cornering him in Corner Canyon.

Farzad didn't want to run, saying he worried they would just chase him. He positioned his bike in front of himself instead.

Then suddenly, one of them charges forward.

"I wasn't provoking them at all, and they just rushed me," Farzad recounted.

In the video, Farzad uses a few panicked choice words as he gets back on his bike as fast as possible.

"I've never been ... chased by an animal. I mean, they just come right at you," he said.

Back on his bike, Farzad rode away, not wanting to be badgered any more. He waited a few hundred feet down the trail until he could see them disappear, the badgers clearly having won that round.

Brandon Farzad can laugh now about his badger encounter, after all ended peacefully.
Brandon Farzad can laugh now about his badger encounter, after all ended peacefully. (Photo: Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL-TV)

"They went on their way. I went on my way, and everything's fine," he said.

Since then, he said he's looked up videos online showing badgers fighting and winning against large animals. He read stories about them attacking dogs and ripping up people's ankles.

Next time he rides, if Farzad comes across the furious little family again, he will gladly let them have the trail.

"Yeah, that's right," he said with a chuckle. "I don't want a rematch."

Wild Aware Utah has information on badgers, their behaviors, and how to protect against them.

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Lauren Steinbrecher
Lauren Steinbrecher is an Emmy award-winning reporter and multimedia journalist who joined KSL in December 2021.


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