An adorable marmot just hitched a ride all the way from Colorado to Toronto
Crossing into or back from the U.S. by car can be stressful as heck, especially in the ArriveCAN era, but while you're sitting behind the wheel getting grilled by an agent, there might be some passengers that are getting let off far easier.
Take a certain wayward marmot, who despite tight border security measures somehow managed to find her way into a Canadian woman's car during a road trip to The States, sneaking through the checkpoint undetected.
The little critter hitchhiked all the way from Aspen, Colorado, to Toronto unbeknownst to her chauffeur, who is actually a member of the Toronto Police Service.
While the woman and a friend heard some chirping sounds during their lengthy 3,000 km drive, they never spotted the fluffy friend, who was hiding in the vehicle's undercarriage.
It wasn't until they arrived home that they saw whiskers peeking out from under the car, and immediately called Toronto Wildlife Centre, a local charitable organization known for its regular rescue and rehabilitation of animals stuck in troublesome situations across the city.
What happens when a #YellowBelliedMarmot, native to the US, accidentally ends up in Canada? This was the reality for Sarah who returned from Colorado with a marmot hiding in her car! To find out how this accidental hitchhiker made it back home, visit: https://t.co/IOYTMuvu7x pic.twitter.com/IH9tCH85qY— Toronto Wildlife Centre (@TWC_Wildlife) July 29, 2022
After wrangling the beaver relative, TWC staff found the animal to be dehydrated, anxious, and a bit thin, but otherwise surprisingly healthy and unscathed after a long, hot, six-day trip.
The team provided her with some loving car, and booked her a trip home that included some very careful coordination with wildlife rehabilitators south of the border, as well as U.S. Customs and Immigration, airlines, and more.
The wild animal was finally sent home on July 15, and released by local organizations in Colorado this week.
Of course, a location was very carefully selected to ensure that the marmot didn't make her way back to Toronto in the future, because, as TWC notes in its latest Instagram post, "yellow-bellied marmots seem to stow away in cars often."
The organization confirmed this week that the adventurous creature was released "in a great marmot habitat well away from parked cars."
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