Furry fugitive nabbed in culvert near city hall
Connie Potts spotted the intruder as she entered the College of Eastern Utah museum last Thursday.
The subject's suspicious manner and odd appearance caused her to call Price police.
The law enforcement officers cordoned off the area where the fugitive was seen as the police waited for the intruder to come out of hiding in the drainage culvert on the east side of city hall.
The suspect: a young badger that had wandered into town.
Incident control plan: keep the suspect under surveillance until the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources could arrive at the scene.
The event started a few days before the furry fugitive's capture when a resident in northwest Price reported badgers in the neighborhood. However, local officials did not expect one of the fierce creatures to show up in the middle of downtown, particularly at city hall.
Potts, a volunteer at the museum, noticed the little tan and black critter wandering under some cars and heading up the curb toward 200 East at approximately 2 p.m. Price city code enforcement officer Byron Allred showed up just as the little guy headed into the culvert.
"I saw just his back end and then he slid into the water and down the drain," explained Allred.
Police blocked off both ends of the drainage with cages.
Badgers are native to the Carbon County area and the wild animals can live just about anywhere in eastern Utah. Badgers are known to be fierce defenders of turf and the individuals involved last week's apprehension effort were being extremely cautious.
About an hour after the badger was cornered, Bill Bates from DWR arrived at the culvert. Bates arrived and county animal control officer Jerry Christensen were able to locate the desperado several feet inside the pipe.
A constant stream of water made apprehending the fugitive difficult. But Bates finally managed to place the loop of control pole round the badger's neck, pull the animal out of the culvert and placed the bandit inside a cage. Although equipped with sharp teeth and long claws, the fugitive was no match for human technology and no one, including the badger, got hurt during the incident.
After examining the animal, Bates told a crowd of spectators that the badger was a young male, only a few months old. Later that afternoon, Bates drove up to the White River drainage and released the member of the weasel family into the wild.