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Stowaway Marmot From Colorado Caught 600 Miles Away In Arizona

(CBS4) -- A marmot from Colorado was captured in Arizona, after surviving a 600-mile road trip underneath a car -- in record heat. Wildlife officials were called to a report of an "unknown creature" in the Phoenix area last month.

"We got a call to our radio dispatch from a citizen in Arizona, in Glendale actually, that took video footage of an unknown creature, running around in a parking lot, jumping into vehicles here," said Sharon Lashway with the Arizona Game & Fish Department. "My first reaction was, 'We have a marmot.'"

It was, in fact, a yellow-bellied Marmot that somehow made her way all the way from Crested Butte in Colorado to Glendale, Arizona.

(credit: Arizona Game & Fish Department)

"We were able to successfully trap her and found out she had an ear tag, and came across the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratories website," Lashway stated. "Within an hour, we got a call saying, 'Yep, this is one of our girls.'"

marmot 2
(credit: Arizona Game & Fish Department)

The female marmot, known as "Fork," is part of a long-term study in Colorado.

"That's what really triggered me into making sure that we got her back to Colorado as quickly as possible, because she's part of this extremely long term data set," Lashway said.

marmot 3
(credit: Arizona Game & Fish Department)

Experts say Fork may not have survived the summer heat if she had not been sent back to Colorado.

"Since marmots are adapted to cold-climates, she would likely not have survived the extreme summer heat of the Phoenix Valley," officials stated.

"'Fork' is back with her brother, 'Spoon,' and the rest of her marmot family in cool Colorado!"

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