Monday, May 17, 2010

"What is that!? Is it a beaver?"

Last Friday for school groups, I was in charge of the pioneer school station. As I started my spiel, one of the boys raised his hand frantically. I called on him, and he stood to ask his question as I had instructed the children they must do.

"What is that!? Is it a beaver?" he asked me.

I was pretty sure we had no beavers living nearby, but to my amazement, there stood a good-sized animal of some sort. One of the parent chaperones told us it was a rock chuck, which is a type of marmot. I thought it seemed rather large for that, but let it go. Later I checked the hole it disappeared into. It was about 10 inches across.

I came home and looked for pictures of rock chucks to see if I could verify what it was. What I saw just didn't seem to fit.

This is a picture of a rock chuck. It is a cute squirrely looking critter.
This morning on the farm site, I was shown a whole family of rock chucks darting in and out of their holes. They reminded me of prairie dogs....but not of the animal I had seen on Friday.

rockchuck.jpg picture by nali49

After seeing those rock chucks, I was fairly certain my original critter was NOT a rock chuck. I think the picture below is much closer to what I saw standing outside that 10 inch hole.....a badger!

250px-AmericanBadger.jpg picture by nali49


Jana said...

The ones I saw looked like a rock chuck and nothing like a badger! Did we see different ones?

nali said...

We did. The ones we saw together today were definitely rock chucks, but the one I saw on Friday did not look like those. He is the one I think could be a badger.