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Mysterious animal


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We found this deceased rodent of some sort lying outside the corner of the barn but how it got there or how it died is a bit of a mystery too.  To me its a bit reminiscent of chipmunks we have seen in the wild in Arizona but have never seen them in our area (Allier).  Can anyone positively identify it and should we be concerned about its presence (or more to the point living relatives!)?

[IMG]http://i1151.photobucket.com/albums/o626/BarrowBob/Dsc_0207.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1151.photobucket.com/albums/o626/BarrowBob/Dsc_0206.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1151.photobucket.com/albums/o626/BarrowBob/Dsc_0205.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i1151.photobucket.com/albums/o626/BarrowBob/Dsc_0204.jpg[/IMG]

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Not sure where "here" is (above), but this type of dormouse is common in the Vendee too. (LINK)

They do take short cuts through my small attic, making loud clomping noises as they hop from beam to beam and crash onto the upper side of the wooden ceiling each time. They like making nests in the woolly insulation material. I think the only problem is if they were to take a shine to your electric wires, and gnaw through them.

Angela
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