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Rockchuck infestation returns to Redmond schools

(Update: Adding video, information)

Yellow-bellied marmots an issue at three campuses; extermination planned

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Last year, NewsChannel 21 reported on a rockchuck infestation at Hugh Hartman Elementary -- and they're back this year, at two other Redmond schools as well.

The Redmond School District is reporting rockchucks (also known as yellow-bellied marmots) at Hugh Hartman Elementary, where they were found last year, and now also at Redmond and Ridgeview high schools.

“In the last few weeks, we have seen an increase in rockchuck activity,” school district spokeswoman Sheila Miller told NewsChannel 21 on Thursday.

That's likely because rockchucks are just now waking up from hibernation.

Miller said while the problem is an issue at three school campuses, it's the worst at Hugh Hartman.

“There’s a lot of holes in the ground that can be dangerous for little kids running around, and we also see a lot of feces," Miller said. "They leave their mark everywhere.”

The damage at Hugh Hartman Elementary can be found on the campus's southeast side, while the damage at Redmond and Ridgeview high schools can be found on the campuses' fields.

The school district will be working with U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services to exterminate the marmots.

Rockchucks are adorable, but they can be a problem at schools," Miller said, "and we just really want our kids to be safe and healthy. And the best way to do that is get this contained before it gets any worse.”

According to Miller, there's no timeline for the extermination, but she acknowledged it's something they hope to take care of as soon as possible.

Central Oregon / Education / News / Redmond / Top Stories / Wildlife
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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.



  1. Let’s see – my backyard doesn’t have any of them so maybe we should get them on the endangered species list and protect the ones that are left.

  2. How did they handle all the ones that lived along the canal before it was piped by Fred Meyer in Redmond? They couldn’t have all just migrated. Probably a bunch got whacked by the construction during piping though.

  3. Pilot Butte MS seems to get along just fine with its Rockchucks. Are the critters in Redmond particularly vicious, or is Redmond just a bit sensitive about our neighbor rodents?

  4. Seriously? The kids today are too fragile to live in the presence of rock chucks? What other wildlife should we exterminate to make them more comfortable. A bird could fly over and poop on one of the little darlings. Better get rid of all of those. And lord forbid they come in contact with a lizard or *gasp* a snake. Better wipe all of them out as well. Bees? Oh gawd!!! This is ridiculous and the marmots were there first.

  5. Just throw gummy bears or gummy worms in their holes. They can’t digest them, and then you don’t have poison floating around taking out the low hanging fruit people keep producing.

  6. Anyone who has ever handled one knows they are covered in fleas and ticks, which they spread to feral cats which spread to pets. So if you’re okay with your pets having fleas and ticks, if you’re okay with you’re kids playing outside in the grass with the fleas and ticks, you’re an idiot, or do you just keep your kids indoors playing video games letting them get fat?

  7. Fact is- if the kids and teachers don’t want to return to school- then the “chucks” have the right to take over- it’s the Joe Biden Amerikan way !

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