Encounters with wildlife when doing our own thing, like alpine uphilling, can be a lot of fun, but they can also be downright dangerous. For a young woman in Park City, Utah, a run-in with a badger on an alpine slide made for a fun story to share with friends and the TikTok community.
The Utah alpine slide at Park City Mountain Resort has two alpine slide tracks. Many resorts have abandoned or replaced these tourist attractions for the summer months with other activities, but they do still exist in some places. Find out what this woman did when a badger crossed her path on the slide.
Here's what happened on a summer alpine slide.
In a TikTok video posted on Aug. 2, 2023, user Sage hurtles down an alpine slide screaming her head off. She's loudly yelling, "Oh my God!" repeatedly for the first half of the 31-second clip, with her camera focused mainly on the track as it twists and turns, revealing a brownish animal running ahead of her.
Although the TikToker doesn't state in the hashtags or over the video what the animal is, several people commented that it looked like a badger, to which she agreed. However, a few said it might be a marmot, an animal resembling a groundhog, per A-Z Animals.
One person stated, "Local here! That is a Marmot. They're everywhere here!" However, the video creator responded that she thinks it's a badger because the white on its face is more visible at the end.
If you're wondering why the video's owner is screaming so loudly, you might assume she's in danger—and it's understandable if she felt that way. According to Wild Aware Utah, badgers can be aggressive. Still, fortunately for this alpine rider, they're "unlikely to attack unless highly provoked." However, it seems this particular animal was scared but not feeling aggressive.
The rider even uses the brake at one point to avoid running into the animal, who then starts running again. She yells to her friend, "What do I do?" and her friend appears to respond with a warning not to get too close. Then, she can be heard encouraging the little critter, saying, "You got it, buddy!" as he scurries over the side of the luge-like course, and she grins in relief.
The badger on the alpine slide was a hit with viewers.
As of Aug. 3, the video had garnered over 100,000 views. People got pretty humorous with their comments, too. One said, "Can someone tag me in the badgers video to see his perspective please?!" Another commenter noted, "The important thing is that you stayed calm."
Others shared their stories of wildlife encounters on slides:
"I went down this at night one time, and there was a deer that jumped over the slide right before I went through."
"Mine was a chipmunk, poor little guy was too small to climb out so we slowly made it to the bottom together..."
Thankfully, this creature managed to get away from humans and back into his natural environment, though the driver isn't likely to forget the encounter anytime soon.