Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Found an animal that needs help?

Call our Animal Care Team first! 541-476-0222

Patient intakes 9:00 - 4:00

Visit Brady & Kodi from 'Crikey! It's the Irwins'

Friday - Sunday

Our Mission: Saving Wildlife

Marmot with Burned Feet Takes Special Care

Learn About Patient #19-081

  • Species: Yellow Bellied Marmot (Marmota flaviventris)
  • Lifespan in the Wild: Up to 15 years
  • Weight: 3.5 - 11.5 pounds
  • Range in the Wild: Canada, Western United States
  • Habitat in the Wild: Mountainous regions
  • Diet: Omnivore
    • Diet in the Wild: grass, grains, leaves, flowers, legumes, bird eggs, and insects
    • Birth: Unknown
    • Arrival: March 13, 2019
    • Injury: Burns
    • Gender: Female

OUCH! This poor girl burned her feet on a truck engine! This yellow-bellied marmot was brought in by the wildlife specialists with Medford’s Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service- Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest office. It took the staff a while to get her out from the engine compartment of a truck. She probably climbed up inside the engine looking for a warm place to sleep. Unfortunately, she ended up getting more than she bargained for.

She arrived March 13 and was treated immediately for some pretty angry looking burns on her feet. Exhausted from her rescue, it wasn’t until after her treatment that we learned she was going to need special care. When animals arrive at Wildlife Images the clinic staff is prepared for just about anything. Animals who are injured or fearful can act in a variety of ways. Some will cower, others will fight. Marmots typically live very quiet lives. Related to the woodchuck, this species will usually choose flight over fight. After Patient 19-081’s treatment, we saw her instincts click in. She wanted nothing to do with us or the care we were providing. Which is great because the last thing we want is for patients to get used to humans and seek them out. However, her need to flee does make treatment difficult. To help her stay as calm as possible and lower her stress level we take a hands-off approach. Patient 19-081 has been moved to quarantine so she has the peace and quiet she needs and we are able to make her treatments as efficient as possible so all the care she needs can be provided in just two visits a week.

Since this marmot is so skittish we first give her a medication to help her relax. This makes it easier for staff and, more importantly, for her. Each of her wounds is sanitized then treated with a special burn cream that helps prevent infection. We have seen improvement in her burns with just the first 3 treatments. She hasn’t been a big eater while in our care, but she has shown an affinity for dandelion greens and miners lettuce.

Marmots usually don’t visit the valley floor. This species can typically be found in higher elevations. They tend to hibernate through May but can sometimes wake up earlier depending on the elevation of their burrow.  While Patient 19-081’s injuries are our biggest concern we felt the pain when we learned the truck she was in was severely damaged. Apparently while hiding in the truck she chewed on wiring harnesses and other engine parts resulting in over $7,500 in damages.

Visit Us

11845 Lower River Rd., Grants Pass, OR 97526
P.O. Box 36, Merlin OR 97532

Clinic/Office/Gift Shop Hours
7 days a week, 9:00 - 4:00

Self-Guided Tours
Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10:00 - 3:00   
(Park closes at 3:00)   

Ticket Prices                                                          
Adults $14 | Seniors $12 (65+)
Children (ages 4-13) $7
Children ages 3 and under by donation

Our Mission: Saving Wildlife

In this pursuit we aim to:

  • Involve people to share in our mission.
  • Educate people about the personal benefits of taking care of wildlife and the environment entrusted to our care.
  • Inspire people to make positive changes improving the world for wildlife.

We Need Your Help

With over 115 animal ambassadors, and over 1,000 sick injured and orphaned animals brought to our center each year - every dollar counts. We rely solely on people like yourself to support the work we do.

We receive no State or Federal funding and depend entirely on private funds to carry out our Mission.