A well-trained chipmunk

June 8th, 2016         0 comments

Few things are more fun to watch than a chipmunk filling his cheeks with peanuts

A chipmunk along the millpond trail has been trained by park visitors to fill his cheeks with peanuts in the shell and take them to his winter stockpile in his burrow under a large cottonwood tree. He’ll have a pantry full of goodies to get him through winter.

You can buy peanuts in the shell at Brighton’s Pet Supplies Plus for about $2.50/pound. A pound will give you an hour’s entertainment giving the rodent food to store. You’ll love every minute of it. He’ll take the nuts right out of your hand but there’s some risk of him biting you so I don’t advise it.* Just set the nuts on the ground in front of you.

He’ll come and stuff his cheeks (above) then run to his burrow. Unless he checks his email and Facebook account, he’ll be back at your feet within 30 seconds to accept more food for his larder. While he’ll accept bread and duck chow (below), they aren’t good food choices for him. Bread is empty calories and duck chow pellets will become gooey messes when stored in his moist burrow.

* There’s a very remote chance he could transmit rabies to you through a bite. Normally, chipmunks aren’t a rabies host. Small mammals bitten by larger rabid animals rarely survive the encounters to then bite a human. Still, you can never be too careful when around a wild animal no matter how cute it is.

The chipmunk will also fill his cheeks with duck chow but it becomes a gooey mess when it gets wet so it won't make it to winter

You’ll find him near the southern dock in the central part of the pond. No appointment is necessary. His name is Hoover. Chipmunks rarely survive being transplanted to new environments so don’t even think of taking him home with you.

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