B.C. town battles pesky marmots with chunky peanut butter and liquorice

If you spot an odd but potentially delicious mix of chunky peanut butter, red liquorice, peeled sweet apple, and fresh lettuce lying about the town of Princeton, B.C., don't indulge yourself — it's a marmot trap.

Michael Mazurek, the director of Infrastructure and Parks in Princeton, said the marmot population in the town surges in the summer — and that this year has been particularly bad.

"We try to control the marmot population in certain areas of the town, specifically some of the areas where there are hygiene issues," he said.

Mazurek said the Rotary Splash Park — a popular hangout for kids in the summer — has become a hot spot in the battle against the marmots.

One resident said that she counted 70 to 80 of the animals in the park at one time.

Marmot doo doo

"It's a real maintenance challenge — we have to have a dedicated presence to keep the area feces-free," said Mazurek.

In an effort to keep the population under control, local authorities trap the marmots and relocate them to an uninhabited area outside the town.

"We set out a little potpourri of delicacies in some live animal traps and basically attend to them several times a day," explained Mazurek.

He says staff check the traps as often as possible so that the marmots aren't trapped for too long.

"We're never going to completely win in this little battle," he said, "but the fact that we're trying to do something about it is as important as winning sometimes."