Southborough wildlife: What is it?

Southborough wildlife

I saw this little guy nibbling grass in front of the library yesterday evening. My knowledge of Southborough wildlife being what it is, I have no idea what kind of creature this might be. A woodchuck maybe? My toddler insisted it was a bunny, but even I know that’s not the case.

Someone care to educate me?

Southborough wildlife

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Mimi22
13 years ago

It is a rather large groundhog. I have seen this guy in front of the library myself. They can make short order of a veggie garden in one night but, in other years I have had a groundhog around my garden with little ill effect. They are hard to predict but no friend of the avid gardener.

John
13 years ago

That is one healthy looking woodchuck. Looks like he’s eating well.

Heather
13 years ago

Wow, great photos! We have a critter that looks very similar in our yard, not sure if it’s a groundhog or a woodchuck…

We located the entrance to it’s home (on an embankment, under some hedges) in our yard earlier this spring. My husband actually layed eyes on the little bugger yesterday!

Does anyone know how to (legally and humanely) evict said critter?

Matthew Brownell
13 years ago

It’s a woodchuck . . prairie dog . . ground gopher . .

He hasn’t exactly been Slim-Fasting, either.

Farmers and those in rural areas will shoot them or burn them out . . but a large box trap will capture them live for those in the suburbs.

You do not want a woodchuck living within 50 ft of your home. Families of woodchucks create extensive underground boroughs that can undermine the foundation, channel rainwater to your home, or provide a conduit for other vermin & insects.

Mimi22
13 years ago

Groundhogs, woodchucks, prairie dogs – all the same thing. the only way to evict them is to trap and kill them. Relocation is illegal in MA. It just leads to overpopulation in areas and the animals starving to death eventually – much less humane.

From the MA Audubon web site:

“Relocating wildlife is illegal in Massachusetts. It is detrimental to the well-being of wildlife as well as the public. Unknowingly, sick animals may be transported and released in other locations, causing the spread of disease. Animals released in unfamiliar territory have a hard time surviving. They must compete with resident animals, and they have difficulty finding food and shelter. Furthermore, relocation is ineffective: each time a territory opens, there is always another animal ‘waiting in the wings.'”

Mimi22
13 years ago

Forgot to mention – you can hire an exterminator to capture and remove the bugger. I like to think they go to a big groundhog camp where they all play and eat and enjoy themselves forever. In reality, the company will destroy them.

Jerry C
13 years ago

I think it’s a jackalope

Jerry C
13 years ago

I caught three of them in my yard this year using a HaveAHeart trap. I don’t believe in killing the creatures. I just capture them and bring them to an open area in Westborough (they love WoodChucks in Westborough). Theres a good area around Little Chauncy where there are no homes or gardens.

To catch them, put a HaveAHeart trap on the path to their Den. Set the trap and put in a piece of brocolli as bait. You can also use peanut butter, but you might catch a skunk or two, or maybe a possum. Also WoodChucks are like mice…if you think you have one WoodChuck, sorry…. you probably have a family. By the time you’re done, you will probably capture two or three of the little critters.

Amy
13 years ago

Definitely one fat groundhot/woodchuck. Once they find good eating grounds, eviction is near impossible. For more info than anyone needs regarding this animal, check out http://www.hoghaven.com.

Marty
13 years ago

A neighbor read this blog and told me that her grandmother in Arkansas actually ate these things during the depression. I didn’t believe her but sure enough, here’s a recipe! Yikes!

==========================

from http://www.outdoor-michigan.com/

Surprisingly there are many recipes for Woodchuck (A.K.A. Ground Hog, Whistle Pigs, Pasture Pigs, etc.). Woodchucks are fatty, however it is claimed the fat does not have a bad taste but is still is generally removed. The meat is dark with a mild flavor and will work in any squirrel or rabbit recipe. Woodchucks have scent glands in the small of the back and on the inside of the forelegs which must be removed. If the Woodchuck is old (look how worn teeth and claws are,) it should be parboiled or soaked before cooking, some cooks always soak woodchucks in cold salted water for 6 to 12 hours. The Older Woodchucks will also benefit parboiling in water with a 1/2 teaspoon or more of baking soda.

Pam Dietz
13 years ago

I have a family of woodchucks living under my shed. At the most, I have seen four at one time. I know that there are more than four. I live in a compact neighborhood in Northborough and all of my abutting neighbors have seen numerous woodchucks in their yards. It would seem that the are taking over the neighborhood. They have eaten many plants in my garden and I have even seen them ripping apart the wood on my shed! I have a fenced in yard that there are exits and entry ways dug all around the fencing and sides of the shed. I worry about my child and her friends being in the backyard playing. These things are more than a nuisance. The town animal control person won’t do anything except offer advice and tell you that you cannot relocate them – it’s illegal. My have a heart trap hasn’t caught one yet. I think that they are wiser than one might think. It’s a dilema…..

Barbara
13 years ago

It looks like a fisher cat.

Mimi22
13 years ago

Pam, you poor dear, that’s a lot of groundhogs! Call Critter Control. It will cost you a few hundred dollars, but they will get the job done. In my experience it then takes several seasons for another family to move in, so it shouldn’t be a yearly expense.

Pam Dietz
13 years ago

Unfortunately I am now a single mom and a few under dollars is a bit out of my reach. The last time I resorted to Critter Control was when a squirrel was running around in our house – talk about stressful. We’d come home from work and find pictures off the mantal, pictures off the wall, like the thing was flying around from wall to wall. Cost $250.00 to get rid of that one squirrel! So I can’t imagine what a whole family of groundhogs would cost.

Mimi22
13 years ago

The last squirrel fiasco at my house cost us over ?1500.00 so I completely understand. Have you tried any repellents for the groundhogs? There is this stuff you can buy at Home Depot by the gallon. It is a completely natural concoction of garlic, chili pepper etc, really pungeant stuff. You spray it on the area vegetation and it mihgt do the trick if you keep up with it.

Pam D.
13 years ago

You know, I believe your figure is probably correct as I remember that our squirrel fiasco happened in 1987 when we bought our first house. I’m sure that twenty years later would up the price. I actually did put down some pretty rude smelling concoction that I bought on-line. Yesterday was the first day in quite a while that I hadn’t seen the critters, so maybe it took a while for it to permeate their hideout. Maybe they found another shed to hang out under. I hope…..

Heather
13 years ago

The idea of the have-a-heart trap sounds good but we also have a resident skunk and a family of 6 foxes!!!

I can only imagine the chaos that would ensue if we caught the skunk in the trap…The organic garlic/chili concoction sounds like a first step.

We’re having some septic work done and the backhoe digging in the yard is what has disturbed/displaced the critters but I suspect this is only temporary. It may however, buy me some time to get to home depot.

Thank goodness I only have to deal with these buggers outside!!! It does feel alot like grand central…

Loki
13 years ago

His name is Gregory, and he is Punxutawney Phil’s brother-in-law.
Also known as Marmota monax

Anthony Bogardus
13 years ago

Wondering how much wood that woodchuck would chuck, if, in fact, a woodchuck COULD chuck wood. Just curious…..

Heather
13 years ago

I’m officially renaming Gregory – Marmota Monax Annoyus Maximus ;)

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