Yellow-bellied marmot stowaway sent back to B.C. mainland where it belongs



A yellow-bellied marmot has been ‘deported’ after its successful capture on Vancouver Island.

The marmot was taken to the Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre in Metchosin, outside Victoria, after it was discovered running around Saanich, according to the BC SPCA.

The animal agency suspects the critter hitched a ride from the mainland in a car engine. Yellow-bellied marmots are traditionally found in the interior of B.C., not Vancouver Island. To ensure no diseases spread or territory fights happen with the native Vancouver Island Marmot, the B.C. Conservation Service returned the travelling marmot to be reunited with its own kind.

READ MORE: Island marmots emerging from hibernation with pups in tow

“After some supportive care and a short stay at Wild ARC, this marmot was ready to be returned to the Mainland at the end of last week,” manager Ginelle Smith said.

It’s not the first marmot to catch a ride to Victoria. Roger, who lives adjacent to the Empress hotel in Victoria, has managed to evade capture for more than a decade.

The critter arrived in 2008. In 2010, former environment minister Barry Penner caught wind of Roger and the province intervened with two failed attempts to live-trap the invasive marmot.

A yellow-bellied marmot will be sent back to the mainland after capture in Saanich. (Wild ARC/Facebook)

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