Marmot hitches ride under hood of a vehicle near Jasper for a cool EIGHT kilometres

Jun 8 2023, 2:30 pm

A marmot in Jasper National Park went for quite the ride this weekend after going for an eight-kilometre cruise underneath the hood of a vehicle.

Vincent Bouchard and his family were returning from a hike when they left the Moab Lake parking lot on Sunday, which Bouchard said in a Facebook post is at the end of an eight-kilometre “seldom frequented gravel road” connecting to 93A, which connects to the Icefields Parkway.

Bouchard and company hopped in the car to drive back to Edmonton, but as soon as he started driving “all kinds of lights start flashing on my dashboard,” from transmission to hand brake to check engine.

Despite the numerous lights lighting up his dashboard, Bouchard decided to continue on down the road until making it to 93A.

That’s when he says he got out and checked his car out and eventually opened the hood and to his shock, greeted a marmot sitting on the engine of the vehicle.

“A MARMOT! I just drove 8 km down the road with a marmot in my engine compartment!!!” Bouchard said, adding he couldn’t stop laughing at the discovery.

After unsuccessful attempts of getting the marmot to move off the engine, a passerby stopped and managed to call Parks Canada to alert them of the situation before a warden happened to drive by and stop at the scene.

Bouchard goes on to detail that the warden sprayed the marmot with cold water to cool it off, and another passerby tried to use a sandwich to lure it out, before more Parks Canada crews come out with a “long collar and a cage,” eventually nabbing the animal from under the hood of the vehicle and caging it.

He went on to add after the ordeal was settled and the group got back to driving, all the lights on his dashboard lit up again, to his dismay.

Following numerous calls to try and figure out the cause, Bouchard finally got a hold of someone to take a look at his vehicle and learned that the marmot had “chewed and cut a wire connected to something related to the transmission, which was screwing up everything.”

Luckily the wires were able to be patched up and Bouchard was able to drive back to Edmonton.

According to the Parks Canada website, hoary marmots are colonial animals that live in the alpine zone. They are also one of the largest rodents in the park, marmots reach weights of up to 12 kilograms.

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