Russian Couple Frees Stuck Fat Gopher, Amuses Chinese Netizens

A Russian couple on holiday driving on Olkhon island on Lake Baikal discover a stuck groundhog (prarie dog) that they then help free.

A Russian couple on holiday driving on Olkhon island on Lake Baikal discover a stuck groundhog (prarie dog) that they then help free.

Currently the most popular microblog post of the past 24 hours on China’s Sina Weibo social network…

From Sina Weibo:

@fall_ark: [c震惊哭] On YouTube, a Russian user named PsihAl uploaded a video of them driving on Baikal Lake’s Olkhon Island during a vacation when they suddenly saw something strong on the empty road. Only when they got closer did they discover that it was a prarie dog [groundhog, gopher, ground squirrels], and for some reason (because of being too fat) it was stuck in the hole it had dug out…stuck… [c震惊哭]


The video on YouTube had gone viral after it was posted:

A copy of the video on Youku:

Comments from Sina Weibo:


I feel like there must’ve been a clear “pop” the moment it came out.


We’re doomed, the planet’s plug has been removed.


Shouldn’t it be automatically struck back into its hole with a hammer/mallet? [思考]


This 土拨鼠 [tu bo shu, groundhog] has become a 土拔鼠 [tu ba shu, the middle character means “pull out”] [泪][泪]


Fatties all suffer being unable to free themselves…


I even heard the sound of a pop.


“Pop”, this animated gif comes with its own sound effects.


Leave me alone! [怒骂] I can do it myself! [怒骂] I… [生病] can… [悲伤] do… [衰]it…


I was trying to go down… why were you pulling…


“Ahhh! I’m stuck, I can’t get out, I can’t get out!” (flails) “Ahhhh! What are these two weird humans doing! Stop pulling on me! Stop pulling on me! Look how you’ve stretched me! (゚Д゚)ノ I’m out! Better run! [hold住]

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Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

  • Rick in China

    “Shouldn’t it be automatically struck back into its hole with a hammer/mallet? ”

    Agreed. Would have made a better video if the couple just happened to have a giant rubber mallet in their car, as well! :D

    • SongYii

      but of course, more fun if there are a dozen of them organized in a neat grid. surely this must have or will eventually occur in nature.

      • ClausRasmussen

        Whack The Gopher!

  • ClausRasmussen

    >> Fat Gopher, Amuses Chinese Netizens

    It amuses me too. And the Chinese commentors are hilarious. It is difficult to pick the best

    ChinaSMACK once regularly posted examples of Chinese humor (what happened to that, btw?) but it was often hard to relate to, but reading the Chinese comments to this story I feel this is one of the few times we really connect

    • Kai

      All the hate her posts got discouraged her (Rensi) into quitting. We did our best to encourage and defend her but…

      • Markus P

        Poor Rensi, her work was not in vain. Just, a lot of people who come to this site seem to be full of hate and anger and unload it all on the comment boards.

      • SongYii

        such is the internet

      • ClausRasmussen

        That’s sad. Her posts gave unique insight into Chinese culture and occasionally a good laugh. They were my first-read articles here

    • Don’t Believe the Hype


    • da_shan223

      whack-a-mole comment wins

  • b duck

    so cute, before set if free, should give it a peanut or walnut or candy to see if it’s still so hoggish!
    i love cute animals, tiny puppy, tiny cat, tiny duck, tiny chicken, tiny bird…

  • Kai

    I cynically believe this was posted in juxtaposition to yesterday’s post to cater to those with shorter attention spans.

    Poor gopher though. The Russian description to the video on YouTube is pretty cute.

  • Guest

    it was supposed to be eaten by a bigger animal, now the entire food chain is basically fucked. :P

  • JayJay

    Survival of the cutest???

  • SongYii

    The moral of the story is, if you see a cute little animal in distress and your heart tells you to save it… just gopher it!

    • munkay

      You deserve more likes!

  • If this was in China, the gopher’s scalp would’ve been stripped, exposing its brain to the chopsticks and soy sauce that would surely devour it while still alive

  • Wow – Impressive!
    How many women (or men) would be brave enough to handle a wild animal?

    • AbC

      Wild animals such as this furry little gopher? I can’t imagine too many women or men who would be frightened to touch one of these.

      Different story if it’s a snake or alligator…

      • Depends on the person, but it is a mistake to approach any animal without caution…even a domesticated dog
        That animal may look cuddly and cute, but is wild and unpredictable and can move faster than expected and easily injure a human who has their guard down.

        • vincent_t

          Actually, I am more worried that when the gal pull out the gopher, there is a snake biting the gopher butt tightly and been pulled out together too.

        • ClausRasmussen

          Gophers have razor sharp teeth that can easily take out a good piece of flesh from your fingers. The Russian girl handled the animal correctly by using a scarf to shield her hands

      • vincent_t

        U haven’t meet my wife. Even a poodle can make her scream

    • Kai

      There is an awesome bro joke waiting to be made here…

      • I’m waiting with bated breath….bro

        • Kai

          Nah, bro, I’m honestly too afraid it’ll get out of control so I’d rather not open that can of worms. Sorry.

  • I had four Groundhogs (Mom and three babies) in the yard earlier this year.

    The Mother was quite large, but the babies reminded me of Bill Murray hunting the gopher in “Caddyshack”

    I was going to shoot them, but read online that they are very lazy creatures and I was able to capture and relocate them with a little effort – thankfully without having to use explosives (as Bill Murray did)

  • tomoe723

    I’m surprised how some people found this extra ordinary. Isn’t it normal to help little creatures if you see them in trouble? I’ve done this countless times already, usually in situations where little animals got plastic garbage stuck on their bodies. A little consideration goes a long way in how you deal with other lifeforms. I believe in this type of good karma.

    • Guest

      its obvious their deed surprised these Chinese netizens. .. guess that tells you something about how they would have handled it.

      • tomoe723

        Yeah, I remember those posts here in cS about a girl torturing rabbits.. But a lot of them netizens frowned heavily upon it.

    • vincent_t

      Did u even read the comments? People found it cute and amusing, none of them said anything that it is extraordinary to help the animal or whatever close to it. Too desperate to show that you are a nice people who helps? A little patient to read through the comments and put together your thought goes a long way in how you post in CS.

      • tomoe723

        Lol wut? You trying to be an ass or jerk or something? I don’t limit myself to comments on cS only. If you read the comments on the youtube video in the links provided, some people did find it extraordinary. And I wasn’t brandishing my niceness, I’m a selfish person, I do it because I want good karma. >=P

        Oh and I also talk to animals… LOL!

    • I once freed a scorpion from its water bottle prison in a park in China. Does that count towards good karma too? Hey, it’s a little animal too, yeah?

  • ClausRasmussen

    I noticed that too, but to be fair Ukraine is on the other side of the Earth to the Chinese commentors. Had it happened in Japan certainly some commentors would have brought up politics

  • Jawollski

    No need to help the gopher: after a few days being stuck and unable to find food, it will lose enough weight to come unstuck. That is, if nobody runs it over or no other animal eats it first.

  • tomoe723

    Yah, I figured that it was the cuteness factor that drove in the views. XD

  • Irvin

    Awwwww they let a perfectly fatten dinner got away.