June 25, 2009

Marmot madness in Wash. restaurant

Officials in Prosser, Wash., said the city's marmot problem has become so severe that one of the cat-sized animals invaded a restaurant.

City Administrator Charlie Bush said the marmot incident Monday involved one of the burrowing creatures bursting through the door of the restaurant and being chased until it was finally cornered by employees and patrons, the Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, Wash.) reported Thursday.

Bush said several people used advertising signs to make a tunnel for the marmot to exit the eatery and the animal left after some gentle prodding.

It just took off like a shot, Bush said.

Yellow-bellied marmots, closely related to woodchucks, have caused trouble for the city during recent summers. Prosser gave up its marmot control program last year and is now advising residents with marmot infestations to contact the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.