Adorable groundhog babies share apple slices in the sunshine
We have all seen groundhogs at some point or another, at least in North America. Although it is likely that we have actually called them "gophers", a close relative of the groundhog, the names are often used for either. And if we hadn't noticed these little balls of fur happily munching dandelions and grass in almost every meadow and along roadsides, we've certainly seen them in movies. Bill Murray, in Caddyshack made a groundhog eternally famous in his unforgettable battle with the charming and crafty creature over its presence on the golf course he was responsible for.
Groundhog Day has made Punxsutawney Phil and Wiarton Willie two of the most famous groundhogs in the world, although it's doubtful that they ever predicted the coming of spring weather with any more accuracy than a coin toss. Bill Murray had another box office hit with the movie "Groundhog Day" in 1993.
These baby groundhogs are only a few months old. Their mother has been nursing them in their burrow, relying on her fat stores from last year's feasting to carry them all through the cold weather until the snow melted and the grass sprouted. It's now a warm, spring day and the groundhogs are starting to eat grass and other plants as well. Even though they still rely on her for milk, they will continue to add solid food to their diet in an effort to grow as quickly as possible. Here, they feast on apple slices left at the entrance to their burrow. It's likely they have never sank their teeth into such a juicy treat and they munch away, smacking their lips loudly as they gobble it up. One of them takes a short break to curiously investigate the small camera that is behind the treats.
These groundhogs live in a grassy little meadow that is very close to a busy section of road in a Canadian city. Their mother seems to have taught them well though, and they rarely venture far from the burrow. At the slightest change in their surroundings, they scamper back in for safety. And mom is never far away earlier. With a chirp and a quick sprint, she will signal if danger is near and they will all hide.
At this age, these adorable little babies look more like stuffed toys than wild animals.