Kaiser - Marmota Monax Declama
Loud Marmot
Kaiser bingeing outside St Mark's Church, NYC
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his breed of Loud Marmot, better known as a Punk Marmot or Woodchuck Ruffian, was documented in 1872 living in the Delmarva region of the Mid-Atlantic United States coast.

The breed did not migrate and at the turn of this century is considered quite rare. The Woodchuck Ruffian is the least social of all marmots and predominantly distributed to peripheral commercial habitats. Traditionally they are active for only seven months, hibernating the rest of the year, however in their semi-domesticated existence they can be active year round. Adults do not interact much with other Marmots. Males may mate with one or more females in overlapping territory. The young mature quickly, usually dispersing after the first year. To many humans they are seen as a pest, however certain demographics of the urban population in the seventies and early eighties found that the Woodchuck Ruffian complemented their lifestyles.

In hibernation, the Woodchuck Ruffian does not keep its temperature down all winter, but rather effects a daily “arousal” and then returns to a “deep torpor”.

In that “arousal” period, the Woodchuck Ruffian drinks heavily. They alarm call often and use one of two calls to fend off enemies and supporters alike. The first alarm call is short and guttural: “Oi!,” while the second is stretched and high pitched: “Giit-faaakt!” Because of their lifestyles and aggressive asocial behavior the Woodchuck Ruffian has a relatively short lifespan of fifteen to twenty-five years.

One of the more extreme examples of the Woodchuck Ruffian is Kaiser. He was first documented on Lager Beer Hill in the Canton section of Baltimore, Maryland. The Foreman of the National Brewery began looking after an injured and weak Marmot in 1973. The following year, the foreman’s son left Baltimore for New York City, taking the still weak Kaiser as his pet.

Soon taken in by Richard Meyers, AKA Richard Hell and Tom Miller, AKA Tom Verlaine, Kaiser’s personality blossomed. He was asocial, rowdy, visible and extremely dependent. In 1975, Kaiser strikes out alone as the band and the friendship of Hell and Verlaine imploded. Kaiser has a series of owners over the next twenty-five years, remaining in Alphabet City and Tompkin Square Park. Kaiser is unable to rebound after the death of Joey Ramone on April 15, 2001 and dies that same day. He was lovingly taxidermied by friends and is on display in the Fifi LaHorne Gallery in New York City.

Hear the only live recording of the Punk Marmot--Click Here


For More Information on the subjects relative to the Kaiser's life follow these links:

National Bohemian

Richard Hell

Tompkin Square Park

Joey Ramone

The Delmarva region of the Mid-Atlantic United States coast

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