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We share our state with a variety of birds and wild animals, but we don't often see this animal that was just spotted downtown in Minnesota.

I have to confess that I'm an animal lover. I'm endlessly fascinated by not only the domesticated animals we keep as pets (and in case that'd be our three cats and two dogs) but by the various animals, birds and other critters that also call the Land of 10,000 Lakes home.

So, I'm always on the lookout for interesting animals in their natural habitat. So that's why I was a little surprised when I saw the following critter making its way along a busy street in downtown Rochester last week.

Curt St John/Townsquare Media - Rochester, MN
Curt St John/Townsquare Media - Rochester, MN
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From what I can tell, it's a muskrat! And while they're fairly common here in the North Star State, I haven't ever seen one in the downtown urban landscape in Minnesota's third-largest city.

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Curt St John/Townsquare Media - Rochester, MN
Curt St John/Townsquare Media - Rochester, MN
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I spotted this little guy (or girl?) scampering along the under-construction Discovery Walk in Rochester. He made his way over to several landscaping features that are being built, but at the time were filled with rainwater.

Curt St John/Townsquare Media - Rochester, MN
Curt St John/Townsquare Media - Rochester, MN
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According to the Minnesota DNR, muskrats ARE fairly common across our state, though maybe not in our state's downtown areas:

The muskrat is found throughout of Minnesota. It lives in marshes, ponds, and streams that have many water plants. Several hundred muskrats can live in a single wetland. Although famous for its domed houses of mud and vegetation, it just as often lives in burrows.

It's similar to its cousin, the beaver, the DNR said but is smaller and weighs only between 3 and 5 pounds-- and isn't usually spotted downtown. After I snapped these pics, he headed off in the direction of the Zumbro River, perhaps to head back to the water.

Curt St John/Townsquare Media - Rochester, MN
Curt St John/Townsquare Media - Rochester, MN
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I've seen ducks, geese, crows and rabbits downtown but never a muskrat before. Which wild animals have YOU seen in person? Keep scrolling to see some other wild animals who also call the Gopher State home.

Listen to Curt St. John in the Morning
Weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m. on Quick Country 96.5

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