NEAR TWO DOT – Ranches are often home to a variety of animals, including cows, horses, sheep and pets such as cats and dogs. But for one Montana ranch family, they have a pet that’s truly one-of-a-kind.

Fifteen years ago, Mac White found an abandoned baby badger in his pickup’s snow track on their McFarland-White Ranch near Two Dot in Wheatland County. He decided it would make the perfect Mother’s Day present for his wife Melody.

When Melody got home she realized it was not a puppy as she originally had thought.

“It was too late because I’d already reached inside and grabbed what I thought was gonna be a puppy and pulled it out and went ‘ahhhhh this is a badger!'” Melody said.

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And so began the story of Gilbert the badger.

“Basically, Gilbert had been sacrificed to the great badger gods in the sky by his mom and we weren’t sure how to take him back,” Melody added.

Having a pet badger took a little getting used to; the Whites had to learn how to live with Gilbert.

“You live with the badger, he doesn’t live with you. He dictates how you behave around him. If you can keep his mouth busy, you’re safe. If you don’t and you startle him, you’re bit,” said Melody.

The Whites say Gilbert isn’t picky when it comes to food. He likes dog and cat food and carrots, but his favorites are cantaloupe, watermelon and fudgesicles.

MTN’s Russell Nemetz