iN PHOTOS: Muskrats get busy as spring arrives in Kamloops, Okanagan | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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Kamloops News

iN PHOTOS: Muskrats get busy as spring arrives in Kamloops, Okanagan

This muskrat was spotted washing its face at a park in Kamloops.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Lyn MacDonald

As soft and cuddly as they appear, not everyone thinks muskrats are adorable.

As the name indicates, the critters are big rodents, and worse, they spray a musky smelling urine to mark territory.

Much like rats, muskrats have small eyes, short legs with large hind feet and compact bodies, but these oversized rodents can reach 13 inches long and weigh up to four pounds, according to Britannica.

Their tales are scaly and flattened vertically to use as a rudder when swimming, and their hind feet are partly webbed and covered with bristles to use as oars.

A muskrat eats vegetation on Paul Lake near Kamloops.
A muskrat eats vegetation on Paul Lake near Kamloops.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Doug Giles

Some area wildlife photographers snapped photos of the furry animals this spring.

Kamloops photographer Lyn MacDonald took photos of a muskrat at McArthur Island Park earlier this spring, and maintains, despite their rodent traits and smelliness, muskrats are “cute in their own way.”

“I like their rudder like tail which is opposite of a beaver’s tail and I like the song Muskrat Love,” she said.

A muskrat at Rotary Marsh in Kelowna.
A muskrat at Rotary Marsh in Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Wendy Eiler

Muskrats are Indigenous to North America and found in marshes, wooded swamps, lakes and streams where they build houses out of vegetation and dig burrows near the water for shelter. They snack mostly on vegetation and occasionally prey on crustaceans, fish and small birds. 

Sometimes confused with beavers, the rodents can stay under water for up to 20 minutes at a stretch and swim up to five kilometres per hour. 

If you have photos of muskrats in local ponds and marshes in your neighbour, send them to news@infonews.ca.

A muskrat stands in water at McArthur Island Park, Kamloops.
A muskrat stands in water at McArthur Island Park, Kamloops.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Lyn MacDonald

Muskrats have flattened vertical tails they use for swimming.
Muskrats have flattened vertical tails they use for swimming.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Lyn MacDonald

This muskrat was spotted swimming on pond near Kamloops.
This muskrat was spotted swimming on pond near Kamloops.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Valerie Walsh

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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