TOWN WAGES WAR ON MARMOTS
To tourists, they’re fuzzy ambassadors of the Swiss Alps; to residents, they’re a home-invading scourge. And now residents of Zermatt, in Switzerland’s southern Valais canton, are ready to declare war on the marmot, a plump rodent that thrives in meadows and subalpine grassland.
Zermatt has a particularly large population of marmots, but the population explosion has led to new rules allowing people to shoot them outside of hunting season.
“In certain areas it’s really bad,” one fedup homeowner told Swiss daily Blick. “The marmots even go into apartments when the balcony door is open.”
The pesky creatures, which resemble oversized squirrels, will soon be going into hibernation, but impatient residents have resorted to smoking them out of their burrows and placing glass shards around their habitats.
An alpine marmot