Does a Groundhog Being Active during the Day Mean that it is Rabid?

There is a widespread misconception that groundhogs are nocturnal animals. Many people believe that groundhogs come out of their dens during the night and look for food at night only. However, this is false, groundhogs are not nocturnal. In fact, they are very active during the day, but they still roam outside their dens in the night. This means that though they are mostly seen during the evenings or early mornings, they are still active during the day.

Learn more: Will homeowners insurance pay for raccoon damage?

There are many reasons why a groundhog would be roaming about during the day. These include;

    • Looking for food. Groundhogs are predominantly herbivorous animals, but this doesn’t mean that they only feed on plants. While there is no specific time of day when a herbivorous should eat plants, but there is an advantage when it comes to hunting for non-plant materials during the day. Recent studies have shown that groundhogs have a distinctive behavior of feeding on bird-eggs and bugs from time to time. They do this to supplement their protein levels. This behavior means that they have to look for the bugs during the day when the bugs are most active. This may be one reason why you may see groundhogs during the day.
    • Mating. Like all mammals, there comes a time when mature groundhogs have to mate. This happens once a year just after winter when the groundhogs have come out of hibernation. Mating in animals does not have a specific time of day when it can happen. It is therefore not a strange thing when you see a groundhog during the day. This is because it could be moving to a location where there is a mature female groundhog to mate with.
    • Rabies. Most rabid animals have a tendency of roaming around during the day and also the night. This is because they have a craving to sink their teeth into some flesh and that is why they often bite other animals or even human beings. However, before you run away from a groundhog during the day, you should always check for other signs of the animal suffering from rubies. These include partial or full paralysis and also the presence of foam on their mouth.
    • Escaping danger. When a groundhog is faced by a big enemy like a predator, it often scampers away and looks for a new place to start over. However, this is only possible if the groundhog is not in its nursing stage, as female groundhogs can be very protective of their young ones. This means that you could see a groundhog during the day because it is trying to run away from something.

    With these four reasons why you would see an active groundhog during the day, it beats all doubt that there are very low chances of a groundhog being active during the day because it is rabid. The groundhog could be running away from danger or even looking for food.

    Go back to the How to get rid of groundhogs home page.

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