Aww!
Wild marmot spots friendly hiker and goes out of her way to shower him with love
What an incredible and humbling experience. She was so comfortable and at peace with him.
Jaclyn Abergas
07.21.22

A hiking adventure is never the same experience, even when you go to the same places.

French adventure photographer and filmmaker Aurélien Chantrenne grew up in Mont Blanc valley in France climbing mountains.

He’s climbed mountains in 60 countries but keeps coming back to the French Alps for more outdoor adventures.

YouTube - Stirred Up
Source:
YouTube - Stirred Up

There’s one place in particular.

One of the places he comes back to is Haute-Savoie, France.

He went there again with a few other hikers and they had an unexpected companion join them while they were resting on the ridge.

She’s shy but friendly. She eats a lot but only in the morning or night.

YouTube - Stirred Up
Source:
YouTube - Stirred Up

She’s also a furry little creature that weighs about 5kg. Can you guess what she is?

She’s an Alpine Marmot!

While Aurélien and the other hikers were resting on the ridge, this furry little marmot came out of her burrow and joined them in the Alps.

At first, she just looked at them but came closer and closer.

YouTube - Stirred Up
Source:
YouTube - Stirred Up

Aurélien was lying on the grass when the marmot came up to him.

“She started to lick my hand, arm and actually kept going. So what did I do?” Aurélien said. “I just laid down. And she began to come closer and closer until she licked my whole face. It’s a quite strange feeling.”

YouTube - Stirred Up
Source:
YouTube - Stirred Up

The marmot licked his nose first then went up to his forehead.

And she wasn’t stopping.

She kept licking, especially since he wasn’t moving and he was staying still.

And even though she started to lick his eyes as well, at no point did Aurélien feel like the marmot was going to attack him.

In fact, he believed she might just be hungry.

Marmots, after all, are known to only come out of their burrows when they’re about to feed themselves.

YouTube - Stirred Up
Source:
YouTube - Stirred Up

Dedicated to the task

At one point, she brought her head up and stood at attention for a second before continuing to lick Aurélien.

When she didn’t stop licking his face, Aurélien laid his head down on the grass so they were both comfortable.

It worked for the marmot because she even placed her paw on the corner of his mouth so she can reach the far side of his face.

YouTube - Stirred Up
Source:
YouTube - Stirred Up

Because she was coming out of hibernation, she was looking for mineral salts. And she found Aurélien and his salty face.

“I think that’s why she was licking my arms and face,” Aurélien guessed. “She was just feeding on salt!”

YouTube - Stirred Up
Source:
YouTube - Stirred Up

And when she was done, she placed her front paws on Aurélien’s face and held her head high, as if to say, “Victory!”

She stepped away from Aurélien and started to hunt for her food.

An unforgettable moment

This is an experience that may not happen again, especially for Aurélien. And he wanted to soak it up and remember it for a lifetime.

YouTube - Stirred Up
Source:
YouTube - Stirred Up

“It’s nice to think that the animal can also see us as an animal without fear. To think that ultimately, humans are part of nature and nature comes to nature,” Aurélien shared. “It’s really very comforting.”

Aurélien has another great French Alps memory to add to his bank and he hopes the marmot feels the same way, too.

YouTube - Stirred Up
Source:
YouTube - Stirred Up

See this marmot maul a hiker with love in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Jaclyn Abergas
hi@sbly.com
Jaclyn Abergas is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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