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Photos: Here's what a marmot looks like

Yellow-bellied marmot spotted in the Squamish Estuary.

The marmot isn't native to Squamish, so perhaps he caught a ride here? 

 Vanessa Isnardy, of WildSafeBC, says that there are hoary marmots in the subalpine, but this marmot — captured in images by local photographer Brian Aikens — looks like a yellow-bellied marmot that is common in the Interior and farther west. 

"He/she may have hitched a ride somehow, maybe on a railcar," said Isnardy. 

Here are some fun facts about the marmot:

•According to WildSafeBC, marmots are the largest of the ground squirrels

•All marmots are protected under the BC Wildlife Act

•The marmot grows to a total length of about 68 centimetres, according to provincial government data

•"Yellow-bellied marmot communication includes auditory and chemical signals," reads the BC Conservation Data Centre: Species Summary. "They express alarm, alertness, or threats through whistles. They use their cheek glands to leave scent marks that may help convey social status.”

•Marmots live alone, in pairs, or in colonies

•Colonies typically consist of one or more adult territorial males, one to five adult females and their young — usually including yearlings and younger offspring

 •Marmots typically mate after they come out of hibernation

•Babies are born about 30 days later

•Litters can vary in size between three to eight young per year

•Young remain in their burrow for 20 to 30 days and pop up in late June or July

•They are most active during the day, with peak activity in the early afternoon in the spring and fall

Watch Aikens' video of the marmot on Youtube.