I can't think of what the animal below is but a gopher. But it doesn't look like any gophers I see in other pictures. This animal is very quick, so it's hard to capture in pictures. But it seems smaller than a gopher and does not have the pouchy cheeks.

NEW PICTURE ADDED BELOW The animal now spends a lot of time above ground and does not shy away when I approach. In this new picture, it looks more like a mouse than a squirrel to me. Could I be wrong? enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

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    It looks like Bill Murray, if you look at it long enough. – Aleksandar M Jun 2 '19 at 22:51
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    Do you live in Punxatowny, PA, USA? – Aleksandar M Jun 2 '19 at 22:52

Looks like a gopher to me. I have lost established plants from them, including a Beauty Bush and a huge Butterfly bush...they eat the roots. I get rid of them in my garden whenever possible. My cat keeps very busy hunting them.

  • I agree that it looks more like a gopher than the other options I've considered. – Brōtsyorfuzthrāx Jun 14 '19 at 10:57
  • Yes, I think you are right that it is a gopher from the shape of its ears and tail and the texture of its fur. It seems smaller than I expected and my initial pictures of it were not very good so I thought it might be a ground squirrel but the ears really give it away. – Daanii Jun 15 '19 at 2:22

That looks like a Groundhog. Depends where you live and what it eats. Gopher, Marmot, Groundhog, Woodchuck, Muskrat are all different names for similar looking rodents.

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    Rolled back edit - moles look quite different (at least in Europe) and you would never see a mole looking out of its hole as in the photo - their vision is negligible and their eyes aren't even obviously visible. They live permanently underground. – alephzero Jun 1 '19 at 8:51
  • Moles and shrews are black with webbed feet and tiny to NO eyes at all. They do live in our soil and I've NEVER ever regretted their occupancy in all of the thousands of acres of hoity toity rich people's landscapes under my command. Never. That is a ground squirrel, gophers are much bigger. I would love to know what others see as detrimental cause these guys I welcomed into my acres and acres and acres of landscapes I had to account for for any problems. Never a problem except for the clients who wanted to kill. Adios! Adios to the rich clients! – stormy Jun 2 '19 at 21:33

Ground squirrel most call it...sweet thing. Sorry, I am no bleeding heart but these little animals are a boon in your landscape. They are territorial. That means you will not have any population explosions.

Grubs, are their primary diet. Great for control. Ground dwelling very industrious mammals are aerating your soil, top dressing your lawn and beds. Just knock down the little hills of soil with a leaf rake or even a broom. Just brush them down and out into the lawn thinly. I got PAID to do this service for our clients. Dumping topsoil on top of the lawn and raking it in? Running an aerator pulling plugs of sod and soil from the lawn and letting them lie where they fall. To disintegrate.

These animals do all of that for free. Maybe munch a bulb or two? I'd buy them bulbs to eat. They don't do that until the dead of winter, usually.

These little guys; moles, gophers, shrews, even voles are great additions to your landscape, I kid you not. To get rid of them means that others will very quickly take those niches. They are not the bad guys everyone makes them out to be, at all.

Great pictures. There is possibly a male and female and a nest of babies. When the babies get self sufficient they get tossed out by mommy and daddy. As all mommy and daddy animals should, grins.

They also add their little poo poo pellets while digging these tunnels. These guys just might make a few tunnels that collapse but remember, there are only two at the most. You are having way too much fun! Sweet pictures.

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    Funny, the european ones do not toss out the babies when they grow up. They still live like one family. – Aleksandar M Jun 1 '19 at 11:41
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    I did not mean people in my comment above. ;) – Aleksandar M Jun 1 '19 at 11:44
  • I got it Aleksandar, grins! They live like one family but when babies are able to compete with mommy and daddy they are tossed out. This is what I've learned, experienced and unless you know of a population explosion of these little mammals, I have NEVER experienced or have heard of one. Grins, "The European Ones"...grinning and giggling. I dunno, maybe you are right. I have never had the luck to see European landscapes in person on the ground. No problem, Alex, I am constantly trying to push the envelope of what I know. – stormy Jun 2 '19 at 21:24

It really does depend on where you are. In addition to the species mentioned above it could also be a Ground Squirrel.

  • I live in California just south of San Francisco. – Daanii Jun 15 '19 at 2:23

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