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Officer responds to free stuck muskrat

Muskrat in kennel

Animal Control Officer Kevin Mack found himself “unsticking” a stuck muskrat recently. A caring neighbor called about an animal trapped in a fence not far from the Animal Shelter. Mack asked them to send a photo and was surprised to see that it was a muskrat.

There is no real muskrat habitat anywhere near the location where the animal was stuck.  They prefer marshes, swamps, and wetlands with at least four to six inches of water.

But there was no mystery to how he became stuck in the fence, according to Mack. The muskrat had managed to squeeze his head and front legs through one of the holes in the chain link, but his hips were too wide to pass.

Muskrat trapped in chain link fence

When he tried to backup he kept getting hung up on his forelegs, which are designed to fold back along his body for swimming. His legs made it easy to slide through the fence going forward, but he couldn’t pull them back through in the reverse direction. 

Mack used bolt cutters to free the large rodent. But he still had a steel ring around his middle, so he was sent to PAWS in Lynnwood for help with that. He should fully recover.

Despite the experience, the muskrat seemed healthy and feisty, trying his hardest to bite the hand that freed him.