Oxbow Park unveils its two new additions - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Oxbow Park unveils its two new additions

American badger American badger
Two children looking at the two new badgers Two children looking at the two new badgers
BYRON, Minn. (KTTC) -

Some new additions at Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo in Byron are sure to have Minnesota Gophers fans in a frenzy.

Two American Badgers made their debut Thursday morning. They are smaller than most of the animals at the zoo, but will show their teeth and hiss if you get too close for comfort. 

Some of their features include: big ears, white stripe from their nose to the nape of their neck, flat-footed walk, and wide, cinder block shaped body.

The park bought them from a zoo in northern Minnesota and kept them in quarantine until Thursday.

Unlike the honey badger, which has tiny ears and a yellowish tint to its fur, the American badger has big ears and brown fur.

"The claws are about an inch and a half long. They're comparable to the length of a black bear," said Clarissa Schrooten, a naturalist at Oxbow Park. Those long claws allow them to dig four to six feet into the ground, which is where they find one of their main food sources: gophers.

Oxbow Park paid for the new exhibit with donations from guests. They made sure the exhibit was expanded so the animals wouldn't be in a tight space. "Our goal is to keep our animals active, not just physically, but mentally. We have the dirt in here for digging. Everyday we provide some kind of enrichment, a toy or branch for them to use."

The zoo, which houses 30 other species, is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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