Woodchuck FACTS

Woodchucks are the largest member of  the squirrel family and can climb trees.

woodchucks are also known as groundhogs, whistle pigs, and Land beavers.

The tradition of groundhog's day began in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, in 1886 based on the German interpretation of candlemas day. It is the exact half way point between the first day of winter and the the first day of spring!

Their teeth never stop growing, which is a challenge for woodchucks with injured jaws! Rehabilitators must trim their teeth if woodchucks cannot naturally grind them together.

Woodchucks can move almost 3 tons of dirt excavating a burrow! When woodchucks are ready for release from a rehab program, consideration must be made if later in the fall to release them at an established den site. Multiple families of woodchucks can hibernate together in 1 den for the winter.

They are considered true hibernators, which means they full slow down their heart rate to 4 beats per minute and drop their body temperature to 38 degrees fahrenheit.

Woodchucks have on average a litter of 4-6 young typically in March that stay with the mom until that fall to seek their own dens!

Most woodchucks are brought into rehabilitation programs due to being hit by cars and losing their home unnecessarily due to excavation and yard work. We all must learn to live together in nature and help animals in need!

Meet Bernard the Woodchuck: 

Hello!  My name is Bernard and I am a woodchuck, aka groundhog or whistle pig.  I'm originally from the Hamptons. So fancy, I know!  I came to live at the Wildlife Sanctuary last fall.  My legs got injured after I unfortunately got hit by a car.  I really enjoy living here!  I am one happy, lovable guy, and I am a very handsome woodchuck! Being mellow is my thing.  I just go with the flow!  I have fun playing in the exercise run daily and can't wait for my next meal.  Cooked sweet potato and green Romaine lettuce are my favorites!  I also love tucking myself into my bed with the help sometimes of a staff member or volunteer. Got to be all comfy and cozy for my naps!  I love meeting the visitors who come to the Sanctuary!  Whether it is for a special event, educational program or just a meet and greet in the lobby, I love everyone!