Groundhog fight!!

Territorial aggression

Added 2011-03-22

Cycling towards home today along Millwood I noticed a steady stream of water coming down from Village Station Road. There was a small lake forming from an obvious water main break, not in itself particularly noteworthy, but as I stopped to reconnoiter, I saw a pretty grim scene right by the fence next to the Leaside hydro transformer station.

Two groundhogs engaged in a very serious fight

Two groundhogs, approximately equal in size, healthy-looking (i.e. apparently well fed), were locked in a pretty grim struggle which I can only assume was based on a territorial dispute.

Two groundhogs engaged in a very serious fight

Each had his jaws locked upon the other, as they pushed and wrestled back and forth aound the entrance to a burrow.

Two groundhogs engaged in a very serious fight

For a while, they disappeared below ground, then back up again to continue in earnest, as one seemed to be trying to evict the other from the burrow.

Two groundhogs engaged in a very serious fight

Eventually one seemed to gain the upper hand, as he had his jaws on the back of the other's neck.

Two groundhogs engaged in a very serious fight

The loser of the fight, after a good ten minutes of struggle, suddenly gave up and ran away, to another burrow some thirty metres away, likely his own. I imagined him sulking down there, licking his wounds.

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