Groundhog takes over playground, evades Police capture

We’ve got vicious beavers in Lake Barcroft. There are rabid foxes scampering along Chain Bridge road.


(Washington Post)

And last week, a groundhog that Fairfax County police described as “acting in an abnormal manner,” took over the playground at Rose Hill Elementary School. That’s right, a groundhog.

An alert was sent to Fairfax County schools officials on Sept. 28 after the animal was seen cavorting on the Rose Hill playground. Police were called to the scene.

The groundhog — a species of marmot known for its ability to burrow underground and hide from the elements for months at a time — escaped.

Out of an abundance of caution, Police officers advised Rose Hill administrators to close the playground for the day and to hold recess inside the gym.

So why all the fuss over a groundhog? There have been several reports lately about rabies-infected creatures on the prowl in Fairfax County. Last month, an 83-year-old woman was attacked by a rabid beaver during a swim in Lake Barcroft. A few days later, some kids were chased in Springfield by another aggressive beaver.

Here’s the good news: county wildlife officials have said there has been no increase in the number of rabies cases this year.

The Rose Hill groundhog? Whereabouts unknown.

Stay safe, Fairfax County. It’s a jungle out there.

T. Rees Shapiro is an education reporter.

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