ARIZONA NEWS

Marmot hitchhikes hundreds of miles to Glendale from Colorado

Jul 16, 2021, 4:45 AM | Updated: 9:02 am

(Arizona Department of Game and Fish photo)...

(Arizona Department of Game and Fish photo)

(Arizona Department of Game and Fish photo)

PHOENIX — The yellow-bellied marmot with its high-pitched shriek is non-native to Arizona, but one ended up in Glendale hundreds of miles from home.

A person called the Arizona Game and Fish Department to report a strange animal that was running around in a parking lot, jumping into vehicles.

Biologist Sharon Lashway said the female marmot, named “Fork,” somehow made her way to the Grand Canyon State from Colorado.

“She survived the trip in the record-breaking heat in June,” Lashway said.

Yellow-bellied marmots are related to groundhogs and gophers. They’re also known as rock chucks.

They’re invasive in Arizona and cannot survive away from home.

“We were able to successfully trap her and found out she had an ear tag,” Lashway said.

Lashway used that to call Fork’s home – the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab in Gothic, Colorado.

“She’s really social, so we should probably get her back,” said biologist Dan Blumstein, who also serves as vice-chairman of the lab’s board of trustees.

He added marmots are often hitchhikers.

“But the idea that a marmot could get under a car and somehow travel about 10 hours to the Phoenix area is just extraordinary,” Blumstein said.

To identify this wayward marmot, the lab painted a fork on her. She reunited with her brother, his name is “Spoon.”

The biologists are thankful the marmots are back together.

“It’s important to keep tabs on non-native species that enter into our ecosystem, because of the fragility of the Arizona wildlife and our structure,” Lashway said.

“Disease transportation and resource competition are important to monitor.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Brunson Lee elementary school district sign...

KTAR.com

Manhunt yields no results after shooting suspect seen going into Phoenix elementary school

A manhunt came up empty after a shooting suspect was seen running into an elementary school before students arrived Thursday morning.

2 hours ago

Chandler innovation fair 2024 East Valley...

Serena O'Sullivan

Chandler Innovation Fair to celebrate innovation with hundreds of hands-on science exhibits

The yearly Chandler Innovation Fair, which celebrates innovators and scientists of all ages in the East Valley, will return on Saturday.

4 hours ago

One Handsome Bastard photo...

Serena O'Sullivan

Old Town Scottsdale’s 1st microdistillery opens in former Blue Clover Distillery space

The space previously occupied by Blue Clover Distillery is now known as One Handsome Bastard. The name honors the late Brad Ritchie.

4 hours ago

gavel photo threatening federal...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona man sentenced to over 7 years for trying to traffic methamphetamine

A federal judge in Arizona sentenced a Tucson man to over seven years in prison for drug trafficking, officials announced on Wednesday.

4 hours ago

The Arizona National Guard wants help in creating its new design for its specialty license plate. (...

KTAR.com

Arizona National Guard holding contest to design license plate

The Arizona National Guard has opened a contest to let the public design its specialty license plate.

4 hours ago

Follow @ktarpetersamore...

Sponsored Content by Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Marmot hitchhikes hundreds of miles to Glendale from Colorado