A lot of attention is paid to Wesleyan’s true mascot: the black squirrel. That attention is well deserved, but I encourage you, dear readers, to turn your focus to another Wesleyan icon: the groundhogs. Because these guys are nuts.
Wesleyan’s campus contains somewhere between 5 and 15,000 groundhogs, and they are truly a menace. Because they subside off a diet of lush Foss Hill grass, Usdan garbage, and possibly snacks offered by students (not to be a buzzkill, but please don’t do this you guys. Feeding wild animals is v not good for them), these guys are so fucking big. Like the size of a basketball. They ripple when they run because of all their fat. I’m pretty sure if they wanted to one could run into me and knock me over.
Another incredibly frightening this about these boyos is that they don’t give a FUCK about people. When you walk towards them, you can get within feet of them before they move away. As seen in the photo below they will just LET PEOPLE PET THEM??? (Again I feel the need to say, don’t do this. It’s bad for them, and getting a rabies shot series is no fucking joke.)
Photo courtesy of WesAdmits 2023
This behavior is very weird. I have worked in wildlife rehab and husbandry, and if one of the animals under my care acted like that I would be very concerned. I told my coworkers at the center I worked at about these guys (and the black squirrels) and they were similarly freaked out.
The TL;DR of this whole thing is that you should be scared and in awe of our groundhogs. They should be cherished as a special part of Wesleyan life. And if anyone has any crazy groundhog stories (don’t we all), please tell us about them by leaving a comment or shooting us an email at staff[at]wesleying[dot]org!
also p.s. we at wesleying will not acknowledge the rival publication related to this topic jk love u but we r funnier
p.p.s. seriously plz don’t feed or pet the groundhogs. sincerely, your local wildlife biologist
There are two groundhogs in this picture, can you find them?