Mountain Animal Found in City Backyard

SAN FRANCISCO – Wildlife rescuers have set a trap hoping to capture a wayward marmot that was spotted in the backyard of a home in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood.

A resident reported the marmot in the yard on Wednesday.

The call was forwarded to members of Wildlife Emergency Services, based in Moss Landing, who tried to coax the marmot from underneath a shed, said Rebecca Dmytryk, an animal expert with the organization.

Dmytryk said she believes the animal made its way to Bernal Heights by hitching a ride on the undercarriage of a truck or car on the drive from the Sierras or other mountainous location and has likely been in San Francisco for about a week.

She cited a phenomenon in which marmots get into automobile engines and chew through the engine hoses to drink antifreeze.

Marmots are not from the Bay Area, and typically live in colder climates at elevations of 5,000 feet or higher, she said. Outside of its normal habitat, the marmot could die.

In addition to capturing the marmot, WES is attempting to learn where the animal came from so that rescuers can return it to its home once it is captured.

Rescuers have set up a trap in the yard to capture the marmot and the home’s resident has volunteered to keep an eye on it and alert WES if the marmot is caught, Dmytryk said.

Anyone with information about how the marmot came to San Francisco or who recently returned to the city from the mountains is asked to call WES at (866) 945-3911.

“Just in case we catch this guy, give us a holler so we can take him back home,” Dmytryk said.

(Copyright 2013, Bay City News, All rights reserved.)

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