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Are groundhogs dangerous?

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Groundhogs rarely pose a threat to humans or pets, as they are more afraid of them than anything. They sometimes emit a shrill “whistle” when frightened and will run into their den opening. However, a cornered groundhog will fight to defend itself and, like all mammals, they can carry the rabies virus. Care and respect needs to be taken when dealing with wildlife, including the groundhog. Conflict often occurs between humans and groundhogs when yards and gardens are destroyed. Groundhogs can move a tremendous amount of dirt every day. This disturbance of the earth is actually beneficial to the recycling and cultivation of nutrients in the soil, but if the digging occurs under a structure it can weaken the foundation. Gardens are an attractive source of food to groundhogs. In some cases, a heavy mesh fence can be installed that is at least 3-4 feet high with several inches buried into the ground. A single strand electric wire can be added to this fence system as an extra safeguard. ... more
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