How to Help This Man Repatriate the Bernal Heights Marmot


This is Duane.

He’s here to catch a marmot.

This is a marmot:


Yes, the elusive marmot that has taken refuge in Bernal Heights remains at large in the area around Bocana and Ellert Streets.

But Duane works with Wildlife Emergency Services, and he’s very confident the decontextualized rodent will be safely captured. Soon. And then, after the marmot has been brought under control, Duane will gently return the cute animal to its native biome in the High Sierras.

Here’s KTVU’s latest Action (action… action…) News (news… news…) summary of the situation:

The rodent, which is a member of the squirrel family, isn’t a city dweller, and experts want to get the little creature back home to the Sierra Nevada.

Experts set three traps Thursday afternoon, each baited with something different.

“We’ve tried a few things,” said Duane Titus, of Wildlife Emergency Services. “We’ve tried a little spinach. There’s some mixed nuts. There’s a little bit of apple pie. They’re omnivorous, so I have no idea which one will work, but it will be interesting to find out.”

(We might have suggested one of those yummy waffles from the new Suite Foods kiosk in 331 Cortland… because no omnivorous creature could possibly resist that.)

Anyway, Duane is requesting assistance from the Citizens of Bernalwood to help him figure out where exactly the marmot came from, so he/she can be returned to the very same place. “To its family,” as Duane told Bernalwood.

Based on various bits of evidence — namely, neighborhood sighting reports and marmot guano piles — Duane estimates the marmot arrived in Bernal Heights sometime around June 20. He also suspects the marmot’s home was somewhere around the 6500-foot mark in the Sierras.

So, If you live in Bernal, and you recently returned from a trip to the High Sierras; or, if you received a delivery from a vehicle that may have come from the High Sierras, Duane would like to hear from you, in case the marmot hitched a ride under the hood of your vehicle, as they are apparently wont to do.

Here’s how to help: If you  returned to Bernal Heights from the mountains not long ago, please call Wildlife Emergency Services at (866) 945-3911. They’re eager to speak with you.

All that said, Bernalwood suspects that the marmot is no longer in Bernal Heights. Indeed, Bernalwood’s sources tell us the elusive marmot is actually holed up in the transit zone of the Moscow Airport, where it has been seen in the company of international fugitive Edward Snowden, while nibbling on apple pie.

You heard it here first.

UPDATE: The Bernal Marmot tweets!!!!

PHOTO: Top, Telstar Logistics. Marmot via Wikipedia

20 thoughts on “How to Help This Man Repatriate the Bernal Heights Marmot

  1. I spotted this Marmot this morning! I live on Elsie street but my backyard backs up to the backyards around Bocana/Ellert. He/she was on my neighbors shed roof, suspiciously close to some raspberry bushes. He took off when I appeared (my dog was going nuts).

    I called the number for Wildlife Emergency Services and left a message. I am unspeakably excited.

  2. Ah, nice Marmot.
    We hope the little guy has a safe trip back home and would like to invite him to the waffle shop for a complimentary sipping chocolate on his way back to the Sierras. We will also offer him 2x Bernal Bucks points on any purchase.

    • Thanks! Do I need any sort of ID? I’m assuming this offer is still valid if I hang in Bernal for a while.

      Waaaait, this better not be a trick. Do you know Duane?

  3. Marmots are one of my favorite above timberline (9 to 10,000 ft.) creatures when backpacking…they’re always spotted in a rocky area standing up on their hinds legs assessing the safety of surroundings even though humans are now present. One of Mother’s best critters, always put a smile on our faces when we spot them in the high Sierra….I hope this has a happy rescue. Keep us posted Todd.

  4. If anyone really thinks they may have inadvertently brought the marmot into the area, please advise. She needs to go back to that same area. Marmots are social, and this one is on her own in Bernal. She is still around as of this morning. I saw her on a perch looking out, maybe for company.

    • That’s it, Leanne! It was in and around my backyard for several weeks–the woman from Wildlife Services set traps for it but never caught it. It disappeared three weeks or so ago. I have her direct number, so I’ll give her a ring tomorrow. She’ll be pleased that it’s still alive. Nice work!

  5. He is safely in the custody of animal care and control now. He was captured last night at Alvarado school in Noe Valley.

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