Here’s another riddle for you — when is a Meadow Vole not a Meadow Vole?
It’s okay, take your time, I’ll wait.
Stumped you, haven’t I?
Okay, here’s the answer, a Meadow Vole is not a Meadow Vole when it’s a Muskrat!
Have you figured out where I’m going with this? Yup, my little rescue Meadow Vole …
… is actually a Muskrat. Who knew?
It wasn’t until he started growing into his fur and face that I figured it out.
Here’s a little bit about muskrats. Muskrats are found in wetlands in a variety of locations. They’re medium-sized, which is relative, I guess. Depends on what you’re comparing them to I would imagine. Anyway, they’re native to North America and are now found in parts of Europe, Asia, and South America.
An adult muskrat weighs around four pounds, give or take a few ounces, and releases a strong musky odor, thus the name. Very clever.
Muskrats are rodents and are related to rats, mice, voles (hey!), gerbils, hamsters, and lemmings.
They’re a social animals and live in colonies with other muskrats, which brings me back to my little guy, who needed to be with other muskrats and not in a cage in my basement, although he did seem happy as he ate his piece of watermelon each morning. However, he needed to stick with his own kind.
I was out walking Harlee and the Billerica Animal Control Officer, Christine (an extremely lovely woman), stopped her truck and we visited for a bit. I mentioned my rescue and she explained there are rescue associations that rehabilitate wild animals to help them return to their natural environments. Why I didn’t remember this I couldn’t say. When I was in my early twenties I worked for an Audubon sanctuary in Milton, MA, and I was trained in rehabilitation and assisted with the release program. But I digress…
Soooooo, long story short, River is now living at Newhouse Wildlife Rescue located in Chelmsford.
From their website: “We are a home run wildlife rehab facility in Chelmsford Massachusetts. We are run by volunteers and are dedicated to providing the highest standard of care to injured or orphaned local wildlife in the area. Our organization is also dedicated to educating the public, whenever possible, on how to coexist with the wild animals that surround us. We are so fortunate to have such a wonderful community supporting us. It has kept us strong and has allowed us to save the lives of so many animals in need.”
Okay, so that’s the end of the riddle and just the beginning of River’s story. Someday he’ll meet a nice female muskrat and they’ll have little baby muskrats.
Maybe they’ll come by for a visit.
A happy ending indeed. Thank you, Christine, and thank you Newhouse.
Blessed be :}
Mi manchi, mia amata immortale.