I was born on Groundhog Day. I therefore became inordinately fond of rodents.
(Even so, my dog used to drag home dead groundhogs, probably killed by the neighbouring farmer or other people’s cars, and the carcasses would putrefy and dry up in the yard. What can I say, dogs love rolling around in smelly wild animal things.)
Despite that gross memory (hey, humans are gross, too), I just. cannot. get. enough. cute. animal. pictures. Even fugly ones are cute in my book. Just like some people and their babies.
And these guys are most definitely cute. They’re marmots. That means they’re fancy mountain groundhogs. They sit on rocks and look wise, like someone you’d ask advice from. They look like they’d be your best bud.
I had a nice hike in the company of a marmot in BC once. And these are BC marmots. In fact, they’re Vancouver Island Marmots. They’re endangered. Habitat became a problem. Predators too.
Luckily a bunch of do-gooders with cushy jobs (Fat, sassy groundhog babies! My friends, behold a cushy job) are out there breeding, and feeding, and releasing, and spying on these little mofos. If we have a few more good years, their population might rebound! They had 26 litters in the wild last year, maybe 75-80 puppies, and another 22 babies were born in the zoos, getting ready to be sprung on a needy world, I mean, ecosystem. There are dens and caverns just begging to be re-occupied. Watch them on YouTube:
All that to say, all I really want to do is to become a marmot shepherd. But I hear it’s a pretty exclusive job, so I want to make sure that job is around by the time I am eligible to do it. That’s why I want groundhog money for my birthday. <–Donate here!
The money is going to the Marmot Recovery Foundation (http://marmots.org/). Read all about these special beasties here, and gaze (gape) at the gorgeous photos. I want us to sponsor as many of these mommas and papas as we can – $120 for each marmot adoption; I’m begging you all to sponsor two pairs!
If you don’t want to chip in on here, I am certainly happy to set up a tip jar just for you. You’ll have to meet me for it in Montreal.
And if you miss the deadline on this fundraiser – which is February 7th – then you can always donate directly to Marmots.org.
Happy Groundhog Day! And thanks for making it a special one 🙂
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Also published on Medium.