Yellow-Bellied Marmots at the Zoo

Norman (Male)– Brought to zoo by California Fish and Game in 2015. Norman spends the majority of his life in his burrow; lucky guests will catch a glimpse of him late Spring and Summer time. He currently lives in a mixed-species exhibit with Crows and a Turkey Vulture.


(Marmota Flaviventris)  

Large rodents most common to the Western U.S. and Southern Canada. Their populations are large and not threatened. They normally live in small colonies of 10-20 individuals; They will generally use/dig multiple burrows for hibernation and for safety. These burrows can end up being quite an intricate network underground. They can be highly social animals and will vocalize in a variety of ways to warn the colony about possible threats.

What do they eat?

They are herbivores and will eat greens/grasses, legumes, berries, roots, even insects and bird eggs on occasion.

How long do they live?

Most live for 10-15 years in the wild.

How many can be born at a time?

The average litter size is 3-5 pups.

Where are they found? 

Their range includes The Rockies, Sierra Nevada, Southwestern Canada and even parts of California.

Interesting facts:
  • They have been known to chew through radiator lines in cars to get at the glycol in the antifreeze,  which is toxic if ingested.
  • They are sometimes called “Whistle Pigs” because of the sounds they make when vocalizing.