He is a little butterball and he is brazen and proud. We named him Terry, because we are not sure if he is a he... or a she..
But, he comes out late in the day, munches on wild grass and goes for long walks in the woods by our home. He is not deterred by me sitting on the deck and gets in a tiff if I disturb him when I go out in the yard. He does run away, but it is neither graceful nor quiet -- but Terry moves quickly!
Terry is a woodchuck, also known as a gopher or a ground hog. These creatures are from the rodent family Sciuridae, belonging to the squirrel family known as marmots. They are common throughout North America, particularly the east coast, central USA and Alaska. They are the largest Sciuridae weighing up to 30 pounds, but most weigh around 9 pounds. They are great diggers and have a curved spine allowing it to squeeze underneath fences and into tunnels in the ground. They have short tails, about 1/4 the length of their bodies and 2 coats of fur that give them their frosted appearance. They typically live in the wild for up to 6 years. Predators include wolves, foxes, coyotes, dogs, foxes, bobcats, bears, owls, large hawks and homeowners!