This Adorable Groundhog Acts Like a Well-Loved Toddler

Involving yourself in animal welfare is a job that is certainly fulfilling and hugely contributes to personal growth. You learn a lot by spending time with animals, which gives you an exceptional connection to Earth. As you appreciate their existence, you are more determined to protect the planet from destruction. All the animals in your care deserve a world where they are safe and their needs are met. That’s why managing an animal rescue center is rewarding; you get to give back to the world. You have an important societal role that is not often taken by anyone. It’s an occupation that feels like something other than a job, as you work with people with the same principles. Moreover, you treat animals as part of your family before you return them to the wild.

Photo: Youtube/GeoBeats Animals

Wild by Nature is a rescue center that has greatly helped the environment flourish by rehabilitating wild animals. Claire Peters is the rehabilitation center’s executive director, dedicating her life to animal welfare. They started with twenty animals but their number grew to 175 — she couldn’t just say no to an animal in need. Claire has fostered and returned various creatures back to the wild. The rescue center has given a lot of animals a second chance in life through the efforts of those involved. She not only established a safe place for animals but also gave family to those who could not return to the wild. One of them is Hazel, a groundhog Claire holds dearly in her heart.

Photo: Youtube/GeoBeats Animals

“Hazel came to me as an orphan baby. As soon as I got her, I realized she had pneumonia, and this happened at a really crucial time in her growth, and it caused her teeth to misalign,” Claire shared. “With their teeth, they’re constantly growing, and Hazel can no longer cut her own teeth. She needs teeth trimming every three weeks for the rest of her life.” Due to her condition, there’s no assurance that Hazel can survive in the wild, so Claire decided to adopt her. The groundhog unexpectedly became a source of joy for her family, especially with Hazel’s hilarious personality. She had built a lovely relationship with every family member at home — a toddler that effortlessly brightened the place.

And even though having a groundhog indoors can get messy, they still allow Hazel inside. The other lovable trait of their toddler-like housemate is that it loves to be cuddled and spend time with humans. “She loves to snuggle with my kids, with my husband. She gets to know the person, and when she sees them, she remembers the kind of relationship they have, which I think is really cool and shows her intelligence and her level of awareness,” the executive director explained. Aside from Hazel’s daily needs, Claire had to research a lot of things about groundhogs, especially during hibernation. She ensured that the room had the right temperature and arranged blankets for a comfortable season of inactivity.

Photo: Youtube/GeoBeats Animals

Apart from Claire, her family, and other groundhogs, Hazel has interacted with other animals, such as opossums. She would eat with them or steal their food, but the opossums never looked at it that way. You can truly see that Hazel is living the best life under Claire’s care. Even when she couldn’t return to the wild for her safety, the groundhog still earned a home and family where she could receive daily snuggles. You’ll also adore her after watching the video below. Be part of the hope Wild by Nature gives to each rescued animal by getting involved through donations. Visit the link on their Instagram bio to learn more.

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