Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Chipmunk Rescued

We have several chipmunks in the yard, many of them overwinter in our rock walls. Yesterday morning I noticed one on our deck eating acorns with something green on its body. I thought at first that it was burs but after checking through the binoculars I realized that it was green plastic mesh wrapped around its neck and front leg.


I borrowed a live trap from a friend and caught the chipmunk within an hour of setting it up with peanuts. The plastic mesh was so tight around its neck I thought that it would start to imbed itself into the skin and possibly prevent the chipmunk from being able to eat.

We put mesh bags on each end of the trap to catch the chipmunk coming out. My husband held him still in the bag in his hands and I was able to cut an opening in the bag to access the plastic mesh on the chipmunk's neck and leg.

We got it all clipped off and he was off and away in no time without too much trauma. (He came back for more peanuts within minutes.)

The green plastic mesh is from sod rolls (sod companies wrap sod rolls in this mesh) and it is also used in seeding lawns where a straw layer is added on top as a mulch. The straw is held together with the plastic mesh.

In our neighborhood, it was used with the construction of some new homes - most likely where this chipmunk got entangled in it.

I have seen several instances where the mesh surfaces and gets clipped by lawn mowers, people trip on it and where the straw blows away leaving the plastic mesh exposed. It certainly should be considered a hazard to wildlife (like most plastic items) and I would hope that sod companies will not continue to use this mesh.