Marmots Explore Car Engines

After my last post on marmots, I received a wonderful comment that I would like to share.  The commenter’s husband is a mineral collector in Colorado who regularly travels above 14,000 feet in elevation.  During a trip home, a marmot hitched a ride in his car causing $600 worth of damage.  “This cute fellow was in the engine for about 36 hours including a 2.5 hour drive home.  His tenacity was impressive.  When we found him and he finally relinquished his struggle to be caught, he was close to his last breathe.” Thankfully, the Colorado Division of Wildlife took him back to Pikes Peak and he is believed to have made a complete recovery.  Here is a picture of the wayward marmot in the engine. 

After that experience, another marmot hitchhiked back from Mt. Anterno.  Fortunately, this marmot’s high pitched squeaks were recognized within 24 hours.  Again, the Colorado Division of Wildlife relocated the youngster back to the wild. 

I want to thank the commenter for providing this information about marmots.  Now that I know about these mischievous animals, I will always pop the hood and check for hitchhikers before leaving the high country.  This is another reason not to feed marmots and get them comfortable with human contact. 

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.

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