Jun 4, 2013

Another stowaway marmot!

Photo credit Traci Tsukida.
Another marmot was found hiding in the engine compartment of a truck that had been parked at a trailhead northeast of Shaver Lake. Amazingly, the large rodent survived the 4-hour, near-200-mile journey to Gilroy, CA.

The driver's truck's Check Engine light came on as he neared his home off Hecker Pass. We imagine he had quite a surprise when he opened the hood and found a stout,
 7-pound beast on his engine block.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) was alerted of the situation and contacted WES. 


WES wildlife capture specialists, Duane and Rebecca, responded immediately to assist  capturing the animal.

After encircling the vehicle with a barrier of wire panels and netting, Duane opened the hood. The marmot was tucked back inside the compartment. He used a "catch pole" to pull the animal out. Check out the video:




The yellow-bellied marmot did not appear injured, but was transported to the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley for a thorough examination.

Other than an old wound on its upper lip, hospital staff said the adult male marmot was in good health and was ready to be returned to his home near Foster Ridge, in the Sierra National Forest. 

This morning, with approval from CDFW to transport the animal home, Duane Titus made the long trek into the Sierras. When he arrived, the marmot started chirping. Duane waited for a thunderstorm to pass before releasing the critter. Here's the video:


Check out our first encounter with a stowaway marmot, last August, HERE.