Groundhog with Pup | Pisgah National Forest | Western North Carolina

I photographed these two Groundhogs, an adult with its young pup, just outside their burrow in the Pisgah National Forest in Western North Carolina.

Usually groundhogs breed in their second year, but a small proportion may breed in their first. The breeding season extends from early March to mid- or late April, after hibernation. A mated pair remains in the same den throughout the 31–32 day gestation period. As birth of the young approaches in April or May, the male leaves the den. One litter is produced annually, usually containing two to six blind, hairless and helpless young. Young groundhogs are weaned and ready to seek their own dens at five to six weeks of age.

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