Tag: exotic animals

Groundhogs and Foundation Damage

Groundhogs are known for their large, distinctive burrows. A groundhog burrow can usually be identified by the wide, round opening, usually about the size of a melon. They often have large piles of dirt thrown out around them. Groundhog burrows can be extremely extensive, sometimes having up to five entrances, and can contain up to 45 feet of tunnels; the average burrow depth is five feet. Groundhogs prefer to dig their burrows against structures that provide overhead stability; in Michigan, this usually means around foundations, under sheds and decks, under brick pavers, patios and anything with a concrete slab. These extensive burrows can pose real risks to the foundations of buildings, which can be undermined by the groundhog’s activity. The photo above was snapped by one of Creature Control’s technicians at a groundhog trapping job. It depicts a foundation that was undermined and damaged by years of unaddressed groundhog activity….

Groundhog Foundation Damage
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Coyote or Wolf? Michigan’s Hybrids

Wolves are a hot topic in northern Michigan these days with intense political debates surrounding whether Michigan should have a wolf hunting season. Until recently, wolves were endangered in northern Michigan and have only recently started making a comeback. Michigan is also home to the western coyote, common throughout the midwest. Coyotes were never endangered in Michigan, but until a decade ago they were confined to the northern part of the state. Since then they have ranged farther and farther south until they are now present in all of Michigan’s 83 counties. Increased frequency of coyotes in the south in the past few years has led to more sighting of the rare coyote-wolf hybrid, known as the coywolf.  Coywolfs are believed to be descended from coyotes who migrated from the Great Plains in the early 1900s and bred with Michigan wolves. Coywolfs are extremely rare but have been reported with increasing…

Coywolf infographic
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South American Rodent Invades California

It seems the world’s largest rodent, the South American capybara, has been sighted in southern California. A technician who works at a water treatment plant in Paso Robles, California, was near a solid-waste pond when he spotted something emerging from the murky water… The creature was a capybara, a South American rodent that can grow up to 4 feet long and weigh up to 120 pounds. Capybaras are the world’s largest rodents. They are semi-aquatic creatures who feed on grass and freshwater plants and typically live in the marshlands and swamps of South America. Capybaras have been sighted in California before; some wildlife control specialists believe that the Paso Robles capybara is the same creature from the other previous sightings. A capybara sighting at a golf course in 2008 was dismissed as a beaver until the recent sighting of the creature on Paso Robles confirmed its identity. Since capybara’s are…

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Two Wild African Cats Found North of Howell

The big news this week out of Livingston County, Michigan is the capture of a 35 pound African serval cat. The animal was spotted wandering along the side of the road late one evening and was subsequently picked up by Livingston County Animal Control officials working in conjunction with the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department. The animal control official used a catch pole to snare and restrain the animal, which was described as putting up “quite a fuss” about being captured. Servals are small, exotic cats native to Africa. They are related to the cheetah and more distantly to the lion, ranging all throughout central Africa. Servals can grow up to three feet long and walk two feet off the ground, weighing up to 36 lbs. Their coats are tawny with black spots, similar to that of a cheetah. Relative to their body size, servals have the longest legs of any…

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Wolverines in Michigan

Despite the fact that the Michigan state animal is the wolverine (and that this is the name of our most well-known collegiate sports team), it has been a matter of debate for decades whether or not the wolverine was ever native to Michigan. Wolverines were last spotted in Michigan in the early 1800’s, though it is uncertain if they had roamed in from Canada or were truly native to the area. Currently there are no wolverines in Michigan – at least as an indigenous, native animal. The wolverine is a stocky, muscular carnivore that resembles a small bear, although it is more closely related to the weasel (it is in fact the largest creature in the weasel family). Wolverines currently only live in extreme northern climates, such as Alaska, Canada and Siberia, though they are believed to have once ranged over much of North America. The very large range of…

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