This is a Public Service Geocache designed to inform you of various dangerous animals that inhabit our region, and to teach you how to recognize, avoid, and defend yourself against them.
The Clockwise Hill Gouger:
Though becoming increasingly rare, the Clockwise Hill Gouger has yet to be put on the Endangered Species List. When asked about the reason for this, a spokesman for the Department Of Interior said “We really don’t see the point. It’s a nasty, silly little creature that we feel the world would be better off without.”
A member of the Mustelidae family, it is a difficult animal to define. A naturalist studying the species in 1971 described them as ‘Part badger, part raccoon, and part Charles Manson’.
By far the most noticeable trait about the Clockwise Hill Gouger is the fact that their right legs are significantly shorter than their left. This bizarre evolutionary mutation is assumed to be tied to the territorial habits of the species, in that they make their den on a steep hill and then guard their terrain by habitually patrolling it and foraging in a right-to-left pattern. It is believed that this constant clockwise motion, over generations, resulted in the elongation of the left legs and the contraction of the right to adapt to movement along hillsides. They leave tell-tale signs of their repetitive passing by wearing trails across the hill they inhabit, hence the name 'Gouger'.
Why the Clockwise Hill Gouger ever started doing this obsessive one-way walk in the first place, however, remains a mystery to scientists.
If encountered in the wild, a Clockwise Hill Gouger will immediately charge and attack humans; their large teeth and sharp claws can potentially cause severe wounds. Fortunately, such encounters should be rare and there are simple defensive acts that a person can take that will significantly reduce the chance of injury.
First, the creature will always be encountered on their home hill, which they never leave. Since a Clockwise Hill Gouger will always approach from your right if ascending or from the left if descending, keeping an eye in the appropriate direction when on unfamiliar knolls is a good habit to develop.
If you find yourself being charged by a Clockwise Hill Gouger the best tactic is to stay calm and then quickly step out of the way of the beast at the last second. Doing so will cause the animal to pass you, and if a Clockwise Hill Gouger tries to turn around it invariably falls over due to its unusual leg design, and is rendered helpless. The animal is far more likely to continue its charge all the way around the hill to try for a second attack, which normally gives you ample time to leisurely walk away from its territory.
This is a real Clockwise Hill Gouger den, and the terrain is therefore steep and rocky. Appropriate precautions should be taken, and younger children (as well as clumsy adults) should be kept under close supervision, especially in wet or muddy conditions. The container is a Lock-n-Lock with slightly less storage than a 30-cal ammo can. Placed for Geo Jamboree 5, there are many other caches to be had in this great park. Make a day of your visit, and see how many you can find!