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Fisher! March 29, 2010

Posted by bsciencecenter in Uncategorized.

The ground work has started for the construction of the new Memorial Elementary School in Burlington.  As I drove past the school on my way to the super market , I noticed a large, dead mammal at the side of the road.  I thought it was an otter at first.  To my surprise it was a fisher! There had been reports of a fisher sighting at Marshal Simmonds Middle School and Memorial School during the past two weeks.   This animal was most likely displaced from the vibrations made during the digging process.   It appeared to be hit by a car and most likely had died from head trauma.

I have never seen a fisher before, but several Burlington employees and residents have inquired about them over the past 3 years.  Most people have heard their call/scream or have encountered them in the woods behind their house.

The Science Center is licensed by the State to pick up road kill for educational purposes (it is called a salvage permit).
I ran into the school and got a large trash bag to collect it.  I then rushed back to the Science Center to get a closer look. It was in great shape for taxidermy!

We have contacted a local taxidermist and will have the fisher mounted for educational use at the Science Center.

Here are some interesting things I noticed about the fisher:
1) They smell musky just like a beaver!
2) They are quite big, which I didn’t expect (the one I found was male-measured around 3.5 feet total with tail)
3) The fur has an orange tone..beautiful!
4) Oh my, what big teeth you have! (the fisher has big, carnivorous teeth)
5) Their paws are amazing! They have retractable claws like a cat!

Check out  Mass Wildlife’s information about fishers.  They have no known predators in MA and can hunt even the trickiest of animals–a porcupine! (they go after the porcupines face and flip it on its back, exposing the belly)



1. Gail Sheehan - March 29, 2010

Hi Wendy – I live not far from Memorial and thought I saw what looked like a fisher cat in our yard a few years ago. It was long but thin. I didn’t think they were around here though. That answers my question. Never know what you might find on Winn St.!

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