Photo by Ross Courtney, Yakima Herald Republic
(Prosser, WA) Residents in a senior housing community are perturbed with the influx of a particularly aggressive group of marmots. The rodents are related to groundhogs and prairie dogs.
People in the Wine Country Villa senior subdivision are complaining about large burrows and rodent droppings, and even claim that the marmots have attacked some residents.
"Can you imagine what they'd do to cats?" asked Dick Bain, a resident who killed two marmots with a shovel Friday morning. "My neighbor got tackled (by marmots) two years ago and got chewed up pretty bad."
The animals, which can grow up to 30 pounds, are not considered a risk to transmit infectious disease. City ordinances prohibit the shooting of the marmots, and residents find their options of dealing with the animals are limited.
State officials say that the residents must first lodge complaints with the state, and wait for referrals of certified exterminators.
"It's not an animal you'd want to tangle with," said spokeswoman Madonna Luers of the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.