The Bored Badger
The bored badger, Meles meles circumforatus, is a subspecies of the european badger, and the only member of the badger family that is in acute danger of extinction. However, unlike most animals, this is not due to human factors, such as pollution or destruction of the environment. No, the bored badger, as it were, is simply so bored in permanence that he shows little inclination to accomplish even the most basic tasks of survival.
All animals, human or otherwise, have been selected through a long period of evolution, where instincts will push us to accomplish certain basic needs for reproduction (the famous “eat, fuck, sleep”), and our neurons are wired in a way to recompense these behaviors through a release in dopamine, thus teaching us to keep doing them. In the bored badger, however, these mechanisms seem to have broken down.
It is not yet entirely clear what evolutionary road the bored badger took, and even if he can really be consider a subspecies of the european badger, or if he is merely a particular phenotype. What scientists agree on, however, is that he is extremely bored. It is very hard to elicit a response in the bored badger, be it through food, danger, or the opposite sex. Breeding programms, which have been realized mainly in the course of scientific studies, have had very little success, and the lack of specimens makes a detailed study of its behavioral patterns even more challenging.
Dr. Stud Hanson, of the University of Luckyton, has recently suggested that the behavoral oddities of the bored badger are not due to genetics, but to infection by an as-of-yet unknown pathogen, which could potentially infect humans as well. His research was showing promise, but he abandoned it recently, because “what's the point, anyway?”.
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