Woodchucks

The baby woodchucks who came in first were in pretty good shape, as they hadn’t been without mom for long. Posted by Wildwoods

I picked up an extra shift at Wildwoods yesterday and had the pleasure of feeding some baby woodchucks! It’s just like feeding baby squirrels, except they are bigger and rounder. And their fur isn’t as soft, but they are still sweet and cuddly (don’t pick one up in the wild though. they’re not THAT cuddly). Fun fact about woodchucks: They are adept climbers and swimmers. Also, when they sense danger they emit a high-pitched whistle to alert the rest of the colony, which is why, in some areas, they are called whistlepigs.

Many people view woodchucks (or groundhogs) as a pest; they eat the food we try to grow, and create large burrowing systems that can trip us up or damage farm equipment, but they are part of our ecosystem and as such we should do what we can to mitigate their negative impacts humanely. Try to keep in mind that the wide open grassy lawn you’ve worked so hard to create, and the vast clear-cut fields we’ve opened up are exactly the type of habitat woodchucks are after. They aren’t being malicious, they are simply moving into a home that’s been tailor-made for them. We have basically handed them a formal invitation so it’s unfair to blame the critter for doing what it does.

If you need to move a woodchuck, please do so between July and September to prevent orphans in the spring and to give them enough time to hunker down in a new habitat and to prepare for winter hibernation. This page from the Humane Society gives some great tips on humanely evicting woodchucks.

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