The hoary marmot, so called because of the mantle of white fur which covers his shoulders and back, is well known to hikers in the western mountains of North America. A high-pitched whistle often welcomes visitors to the alpine country and warns the members of the colony of approaching danger.
Fattened by a summer of feeding on lush alpine plants, marmots, like some other members of the squirrel family, spend the seven winter months in hibernation far beneath the snow.
These animals, sometimes called “whistlers”, are slightly larger than their relative the woodchuck and can weigh up to 13.5 kg.
In early summer, marmots spend hours engaged in playful wrestling matches. Though the pushing and grappling can be quite vigorous, marmots have only to give a sharp yelp to end the bout