The first groundhog of the season was spotted on February 8 running across a service road and then over the path near the boardwalk leading to Explore the Wild. I assume that this marmot is the “Boardwalk Hog.” There is a groundhog burrow just below the fence at the head of the boardwalk that leads to Explore the Wild. The animal that I saw was last seen swiftly moving in that direction.
There are many groundhog burrows throughout the Museum campus each housing different animals, two or three in Catch the Wind, one at the entrance to the Dinosaur Trail, at least two in Explore the Wild and one in the Black Bear Enclosure, among others.
Although this was the first groundhog that I saw, it’s not necessarily the first to be out and about this season. There is a groundhog that has a burrow along the path behind the Lemur House. This is the groundhog of the “Lemur House Clan” and the entrance to its burrow was used well over a week before the Boardwalk Hog was seen prancing along the backroads of the Museum.
I’ve been keeping an eye on the Lemur House groundhog’s burrow, it was covered with leaves until the beginning of last week. Someone has been in and out of this burrow. Keep your eyes peeled for any large, chunky ground squirrels running about the landscape, there are probably others surfacing to test the air as well.